A few months ago, our family declared for ourselves a season of rest.
I never knew how hard it would be: first to come to the conclusion that “this is what God has for us right now” and then to actually live in this radical word, rest.
We are not acclimated to it. As individuals, as couples and families, as organizations, as communities, we avoid true rest. Our culture is always screaming, “GO! Be someone! Do Something! QUICK!” We hear these messages and believe they will deliver life.
We scramble and perform and produce at rapid rates. We are approved of and successful … until we’re not … and then who are we? Who are we when we are worn out? Weary? Have failed? Suffered loss? Gone through a divorce? Are confused? Lost purpose?
Who are we when we have come to these places, and we must lay down and yes, rest?
Why is it so hard for us to believe that we are still worthy and good and loved when we are not producing? Not surrounded by friends? Not in the middle of it all?
These were the questions that began to invade my heart and mind, if I were honest with myself. I wondered how, if I am doing nothing, can I still be something? Be someone? Take everything you’ve based your identity on and stop doing it? What’s left?
As I entered this season, I felt disoriented. I didn’t enjoy that at all; preferring to feel that my little world is managed and controlled.
A dear friend reminded me that this season is about reorientation. Another offered a wise thing that we held onto: “Your regular rhythms and routines can’t contain what God has for you.”
So, we hit the pause button. Even a lot of good things we stopped. As I let the dust settle and began to let the fears fade, I found myself excited about what God was going to reveal.
In Matthew 11:28 of The Message Bible, Jesus says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it.”
You see, I am finding that rest is the deepest trust place; where Jesus paves the way. Where he begins to show me how to find true life.
Imperfect at rest, I am tempted daily by identity traps, seeking control over my life, knowing too surely the way things are.
Yet I must STOP! Stop being busy, stop seeing with my own eyes, stop avoiding. I must learn to surrender and relax in Jesus’ presence.
I am beyond thankful for this time to be still and be prepared for what’s next.
Kristi Swob is one of The Star’s rotation of Faith Walk writers. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.