|Searching for Rest
Q: What are you doing this weekend?
A: Nothing on the calendar, just staying close to home.
Now consider the above answer. Since you read it instead of hearing it, there is no tip-off for the tone of the statement. What's your gut response--is "Nothing on the calendar, just staying close to home" a positive, negative, or neutral statement?
Your answer might have something to do with whether or not you've been on a vacation or otherwise took "time off" recently. Or it could have something to do with your attitude toward rest, renewal, and recreation.
Downtime is an important part of a healthy life, physically, spiritually, and mentally. God Himself has given us the command to find and observe a Sabbath—a pause where work ceases.
Yet there are ways that we find to turn the spirit of Sabbath upside down. For families with school-aged children, we simply cut and paste the rushed, jam-packed schedule of the fall, winter, and spring months onto the pages of July and August. Often members of a family are going in different directions during the summer months, but instead of school activities they shift to camps, summer leagues and family visits. For people in other life stages, it can mean “playing hard” after working hard, or having difficulty saying no to volunteer opportunities.
Keeping a breakneck pace, even if all the events feel "fun," does not leave margin for simple time together or for quiet. The idea of a calendar square that is deliberately empty is uncommon. Yet constant busyness, even with recreational events, will not renew.
Take time for real, true recreation (re-creation) this month. Take a look at the calendar; if there are squares that are mostly white, bravo! If the calendar is already full, try to slow down and protect and claim some Sabbath hours in the midst of your schedule.
Try to think through activities that genuinely renew you, that leave you feeling refreshed. Ask God to provide renewal.