There should be a "Get Out of Your Responsibilities" card you can play on days when life is just too difficult, days when you want a moment to be still. That thought flittered through my mind as I lay on the floor. Peace comes in many forms. On this day, it came in a 10-minute reprieve in the middle of the chaos that had become my life. There was no time to break away and do it right. No time for any long, drawn-out “me-time.” No manipedi. No hot tea and biscuits. No caramel macchiato. So, I did what any sane burned-out human would do after picking up the kids from day care. I sat them in front of the TV with a snack, and I laid myself down on the floor. I stretched out my back against the boards, palms down, and closed my eyes. It was as if God himself released new strength into me. I clung to the moment. The smile that was creeping on my lips was mildly disturbed by the dog licking my face and the toddler crawling over my leg. It was sloppy peace, but it was mine. It was peace in the middle of a mental storm that I had created.
You see, I’m a doer. If I’m not doing something, I’m wasting time. At least that’s what I thought, until I found myself looking up from a compromising position into the face of my smug husband asking, “What in the world are you doing on the floor?” Only one answer came to mind — burning. I was burned out, and the life I had created was consuming all I held valuable.
Let’s be honest; we’re all just too busy. But a life without periods of rest will not endure the daily grind. Rest is not for weaklings. It takes courage to rest in the midst of an outcome-driven society. It takes strength to walk away from good in the pursuit of better. You may pride yourself on your ability to accomplish much each day, but when your natural strengths are taken to the extreme, they can become a liability. Sadly, many of us spend too much of our days “doing” and not enough of our days “being.” I don’t have a problem with productive people. I have a problem with worn-out productive people. These are the majority of the faces that grace my medical office. They present me with a list of symptoms, demanding answers, and wanting quick fixes to problems that require slowing down. It may sound like I’m judging, but be assured I’m not. I’m part of the same tribe. I’ve burned the candle at both ends and have seen its destructive effects in my life.
Can you be 100 percent honest with me? With yourself? How’s your maxed-out, stressed-out, multitasking life working for you? Rest, or the lack thereof, affects every area of your life. So I challenge you — and I challenge myself — to go deeper into rest and witness its far-reaching effects.