© photo by michelle bryant
As we begin preparing for income tax deadline time, spring break (when the kids will be home), the end of school (when the kids will be home – longer), our summer vacations and so on, it just adds more to our already hectic days of soccer practice, ballet lessons, church functions, work obligations and appointments and whatever else may be piled on our plate at the time.
When it’s all said and done it seems we simply wind up at the end of our day feeling overworked, over exhausted, and overwhelmed. Sometimes we get so busy we don’t even stop to eat. Ever pull up to the drive-through and call it dinner? Well guess what? Rest assured, you are not alone. There were times when even Jesus himself had simply had it also! He told his disciples “because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat… ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31).It seems our days get filled with more “to do” stuff than we have hours in the day to actually do them. One would think with the “extra” hour we acquire in the spring through setting our clocks forward with daylights savings time we’d actually get something accomplished. Well, I don’t know about you but somehow, every year it throws me for a loop and I end up still more behind than before. Running around even crazier because [in my busy schedule] I… forgot to set my clocks.
Jesus knew the importance of getting away and taking a breather. Taking a break is not a waste of time or energy. It is a time to refuel. Refuel your mind, body and soul – a time to reconnect. I was recently on a two night women’s retreat where I found it interesting that several of the women could not part with their cell phones. Still attached to their ears or hips they just could not relinquish that cellular connection to their families. Could they not surrender the control of their lives and families to God, if even for a few hours? All he wants is to show us that he could and would take care of things when we allow ourselves to get away. He wanted these ladies to simply trust Him and take a few days to soak on Him just for themselves without the cares of the world clouding their one on one time. We get so involved in doing, especially for others, that we forget to do for ourselves and especially for God. I took my cell phone on the trip, mind you, but I left it in my room and only checked twice for messages and missed calls simply to be reassured that God really was in control of every aspect of my life. He truly did want me to rest.
Whatever is going on in your world, believe me it will still be there when you come back from your quiet place of rest and regrouping. The agendas and schedules will be the same but you will be different, drastically different. When you return you’ll be renewed, refueled, invigorated and refreshed. You’ll probably be more productive too.
So I challenge you, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed ask yourself, (WWJD?) What would Jesus do? and take time today to rest, really rest. Find a quiet place. Feed the birds at the park, walk on the beach, take a stroll through the woods, or simply lie on your hammock and see what shapes the clouds look like. Let your mind wander. For today, even for a few moments, forget about deadlines and day planners and simply go by yourself to a quiet place… and get some needed rest.
© michelle bryant