Every day, since starting this journey I wake up and go through my day with a sense of calm and peace trusting God has set my day before me. Taking the day as it comes is so much easier than trying to fill it with tasks, agendas, and appointments. Usually when I have to be at a certain place and time – that’s when my body tenses up and I become stressed. Rushing here and there, trying to fit in as much as I can – frankly was slowly killing me! I knew I needed to make a major change. I’m physically strong as an ox, yet prior to this trip I’d been experiencing severe exhaustion for nearly two years. I went to several doctors, took lots of blood tests, vitamins and medicines… with no help.
Slowing down and just “being” has helped me already in a very short amount of time. My previous “go, go, go” mindset has now been replaced with experiencing life at a much slower pace. It’s still not easy for me to relax and spend an entire day resting. Often I feel guilty or like I’m being a lazy bum. Just taking two hours to sit still and lay in the sun at the beach makes me feel guilty. I know my body desperately needs it, yet my mind is thinking about all the things I want to do and how I should be making the most out of my time. I feel as though I’m letting time have control over me when I get this way. I want to accomplish so much with the little time I have and just being still (doing nothing) seems to be thwarting those efforts. It seems so counter-productive, although resting is what I need most! I know I need to restore energy that has been drained throughout the day and recharge – that way I have the energy I need to be productive; otherwise I’m running on empty and don’t accomplish much at all. I presume I had been living life that way for so long that my body finally said, “Enough! I just can’t keep up! I’m too tired to keep going like this.”
Yesterday was a day of rest for me. It was a rainy day in Seattle and as much as I enjoy exploring new cities, what I really wanted was to just lie in bed and chill. I knew my body needed it. Previously the night before I had such a debilitating migraine and eye pain that I had to forego my plans and simply lie down. I popped several Tylenol and an allergy pill (thinking that’s all it was), but my body had been under such stress from all the activity I’d been doing that my head was literally pounding and telling me it needed to shut down for a bit. How many people live life this way and are sick because of it?
I’m realizing more and more that we need to listen to our bodies! They are always giving us indicators of what we need and what’s really going on with us. As I grow older, now more than ever, my health is a big concern for me. It’s finally becoming a priority in my life. Before turning forty, I neglected it. I abused it. I did not care about it… But no longer! I want my health back! I want to have energy and be able to do the things I used to. This year I am taking care of my body and setting goals to attain optimal health. I want to feel and look good again. By making small changes and steps in the right direction, I believe I can and will achieve my goal. One of those steps is to get the amount of rest my body needs, even if that means taking an afternoon nap and not feeling guilty for it. The Bible has lots to say about rest and our need for it, then why should we feel guilty or neglect our need for it? Are you feeling run down today too? Then join me in resting.
Here are a few of the scriptures reminding us to rest:
Hebrews 4:9-11 ESV
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
Genesis 2:1-3 ESV
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
Exodus 20:8-11 ESV
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Psalm 127:2 ESV
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.