Why is it so hard to rest? How is it possible I could be falling asleep in the middle of something I find valuable, yet not be able to sleep at bedtime? When it's something important, my eyelids grow heavy, I blink extra long… maybe I'm describing your experience as you listen to me preach, lol.
On the other hand, when I intend to quiet my mind and heart, immediately I develop attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Just recently I changed my weekly schedule. I realize that I have gone through a lot of transitions this past year and some of them put a strain on me emotionally and spiritually. It was hard for me to disconnect from work and connect with God. It was hard for me to be around my family, and even though I love them so very much and enjoy spending time with them, I couldn't feel at rest at home. I realized something was wrong. Not with them, but with me. So after the sermon from Genesis 2 on how the Sabbath Day is about stopping and focusing on God, I realized this was a missing element in my life.
God sent me another sign (I sometimes learn slowly…) through the ministry of Peter Scazzero (emotionallyhealthy.org). He identifies a Sabbath rest as taking a 24-hour period each week to stop, rest, delight, and contemplate God. It is not a day off, but a day given to God. I realized that I had not been resting well. So my new Sabbath rest is from Sunday evening to Monday evening.
This past Monday was my first try at this new schedule. I slept-in until close to 8 AM, thanks to my wonderful wife. I left the house around 9 AM… and if it were not so comical it would be embarrassing. I sat in the driver's seat of my car and didn't know what to do next. I looked around and laughed out loud because I couldn't believe where I was sitting. I genuinely didn't know where to go. I had made all these plans to go to a number of places to get some rest and delight and within four minutes of leaving my house, I felt lost in the church parking lot.
Nathan pulled into the parking lot. Walking over with a slightly confused expression, he greeted me through the passenger side window of my car and said, "So, this is your super secret spot to enjoy your Sabbath rest?" We both laughed.
I'm a beginner all over again!
I left the parking lot and decided to head toward Wichita. I wasn't sure where I was going to end up, but I knew I needed to get away. Thankfully, God led me to a wonderful spot where I was able to enjoy rest and silence in the midst of His beautiful creation. One of the sweetest days I've had in a long time.
There was no wi-Fi, but the connection was amazing.
So, how is your Sabbath rest going each week? Are you enjoying the restoration of silence? Are you ceasing from your work to hear from God? I sincerely hope that you are. I know it can be difficult, but I don't know how we can manage through such a busy environment without setting time aside to quiet our souls and meditate/contemplate on God.