Rest

You need rest.

No, really, you do.

And it needs to be regular rest, not just when you are forced into the hospital with a health crisis.

You need a regular cycle of hard work and quiet rest.

For one thing, it helps with a quiet life. Regular times of rest, at the proper times, bring down the overall activity level. That will help keep your life and schedule from spinning out of control. It gives your mind, body, and soul the refreshing you need to restore energy and keep going with the other responsibilities that do need to be done.

Primarily, though, you being willing to stop carrying the weight of the world and doing everything for everybody demonstrates dependence on God. Often we don’t stop moving because we are afraid the sky will fall if we stop holding it up. We aren’t holding it up, of course, but it is easy to act as if we were. And without proper rest, it is even easier to be ruled by our emotions and external triggers. In contrast, stopping frantic activity and just being — taking a deep breath, sitting and thinking, taking a nap, pausing to just catch up with a neighbor in the back yard, keeping a sabbath rest, not always working — will show our confidence in God’s sovereignty and constant care for us.

God set this tone of regular rest for us when he established the Sabbath day, when he set out the week. He knows us. He created us. He is such a good God providing good gifts.

So how can we love God? Sometimes it’s by taking a short rest in the middle of the day, doing our best to fill our responsibilities well AND knowing that He is in control of the universe so it’s safe to step away from our work in faith.

Procrastination and Chaos

Remember when we talked about a quiet life? Well, let’s spend a few more minutes on that idea.

Let’s talk about the things that you put off, the stuff you need to do but don’t want to deal with right now, the tasks you aren’t excited about so you don’t make time or plan time to do them, the jobs you’re hoping will magically just get done. You know, THAT stuff.

Here’s the thing: putting anything off until the last minute makes it much more likely that completing it will cause turmoil and disturbance. That chaos may be in your emotions or your day or in the work that is done or all three, but it will show up somewhere.

Procrastinating something you don’t like will also mean you have no flexibility to fit work in comfortably or be more creative (or even awake). Once you get down to the deadline, it has to be done — and fast. No room to maneuver and no time for anything else.

Sometimes we put things off because they are looming like a little black rain cloud over our heads, a constant presence. Other times, we put things off to another day and then forget. We forget until the crucial moment, that is, when it becomes a shocking and/or embarrassing surprise. Once you know it needs to be done, taking a minute or two to make a plan, with action steps if needed, to get it done at the right time saves you the headache of forgetting down the road. Even if you decide not to do anything for two months, the entry on your calendar in two months prevents it from falling off the radar.

Finally, because procrastination was the plan, you will feel all the painful results of not planning. You will waste mental energy reacting rather than calmly working the plan. You will generate confusion, because you’re not sure what you are doing and when. ¬†You will not be making the best use of your time, and that lack of success is discouraging.

Hopefully seeing the dark side will be motivate you to stay on top of plans and priorities. Taking the time in advance pays off by cutting out these downsides. Don’t get caught with a mess on your hands.