Friday, January 6, 2017

Re-Examining Rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

~Matthew 11:28-29

The new year is here, but with in the end of my two week, one and one-half break from work. I'd like to say that I've rested during this time, and I have, but not the extent that I'd like. As I've looked back over my habits this past year, I've realized that I constantly rush through life. I lose out on the ability to enjoy even simple things like clipping coupons because I hurry through the activity just to get to the next one. I'm trying to slow down, to really enjoy and savor life, but it's hard. I wish I could say that I'm excited to go back to work, but I'm not. I'm dreading it, fearful. I've tried to start some new habits, like writing on daily journal prompts and practicing yoga, but I worry that I won't be able to keep up these routines while working. I worry that the frenzy will overtake any life and spirit I have found during this time. I want to find who I really am this year instead of running through life, tripping over obstacles, ignoring the scenery, and generally acting like a robot, but it seems impossible.

I've realized recently that rest is a choice. There is never really enough “time” for it, and certainly never a “good” time. This past semester, I've gone to a yoga class once a week after school, but this month, I decided to embark on a 30 day yoga video challenge. The videos vary in length, which means I have to plan ahead to fit them in, be intentional. Often times, I approach yoga in a rush, as one more to-do item to cross off my list. But then I have to hold a pose and breathe and wait. By the end of the practice, I've normally calmed down and my body feels better, but that feeling doesn't stay. When the next day comes, I don't really want to make time for what I know is good for me.

This is kind of like rest. I want rest and the benefits it gives, but not the time and commitment it takes. I want to read my Bible slowly and enjoy it, but instead I approach it like an adrenaline shot—get it in fast and get it done. I want to make friends and enjoy my family, but when I'm with these people, I often find my mind on the next task, the next thing to get down when I arrive home. Part of the issue is that I don't remain present. I don't remain here in the moment or enjoy God's blessings in it.

In Matthew, Jesus commands his followers to come to him with their burdens and find rest in him. I think my burden is the harried lifestyle I live, the loss of myself and my personality to the to-do list. I want to know God's rest, to experience His peace, but I've incorporated the rush into my personality. I've used it to evaluate and valuate my life. If I give up the rush, I have to re-found my life on Christ and re-establish my identity in Him. That sounds painful, excruciatingly so. But that's the way to go, I guess. I can't have rest if I have rush.

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