“Rest time is not wasted time.
It is economy to gather fresh strength…
It is wisdom to take occasional furlough.
In the long run,
we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”
// Charles Spurgeon
My life has been deeply impacted in my shift of perspective and definition of rest.
Prior to rest being an active and evolving part of my life, I felt my identity in my professional life revolved around how busy I could be and how much I could get done in a day. I “thrived” when I was able to stay late and get things done. As a single person, I allowed my free time to benefit my work life.
reactions to the busyness, the stress, the lack of a life outside of work began to bubble up and create circumstances in my life that would have never occurred otherwise.
The Undoing of the life I created.
And that was the best catalyst for change!
The catalyst was both a specific experience and an overall serious need for self-reflection. The experience was my job review with a compassionate and understanding supervisor who I will forever be grateful to for the kind and difficult conversation about what she could see in me.
I needed rest.
I can look back now and see the puzzle pieces I forced together. What was formed was nonsensical.
I needed rest.
Not just a long weekend of sleeping in and napping, but a lifestyle change of giving rest its proper place in my life.
I began to take mental health days utilizing my Sick Days, I began to rethink my exercising as a way to disconnect and give healthy processing time rather than simply a means of ticking off a “Must Do”, I slowly placed boundaries valuing my personal time over my time at work (this took a while!), and I started going to counseling to better understand why I was making the choices I was and to gather better life management tools.
And so the puzzle needed to be taken apart and reassembled piece by piece – processed, prayed over, and repurposed.
Years later, I am still working through the puzzle and working the pieces into the correct places to create the beautiful image that continues to emerge.
I am eternally grateful for a God who understands and delights in our life-long growing, learning, and surrendering.
Rest is only a part of what I have learned from that particular time in my life, yet I know it might just be the most important. Because in rest – true rest – I can more deeply and significantly connect with God, I can calibrate my life and routine, and my soul is refreshed simply in the slowing down.
Rest has become a lifestyle for me. As I better hold “doing less” as a sacred act, I see the puzzle pieces connecting and creating the life I hope for.