In the early months of 2016, I finally overcame many of the hurdles that have held me back from working towards my writing goals. Throughout springtime I was enjoying consistent personal prayer and scripture reading. Getting up early to write. Meeting with friends at coffee shops to work on my blog. Exercising regularly, and actually liking it.
For a brief moment, I was in the sweet spot. Life was cruising along nicely. Victory at last, right?
This is where you cue the sound of squealing brakes.
And what was it you ask that completely derailed my groove?
Vacation. A really nice family vacation over Memorial Day weekend.
Last night Ryan and I were complaining to each other about how off track life still feels after returning from vacation two weeks ago. It’s ironic that just a few days of relaxing and disconnecting from to-do lists can completely obliterate the successful patterns of discipline we establish for productivity.
And yet, I truly believe that we are created to need rest. Rest is good, and I am grateful for it.
Nevertheless, last night I fell asleep wondering if taking a holiday is worth the strain and frustration that comes with getting real life back in order.
I know. First World Problems.
But, I also think that when I am too quick to categorize all of my daily frustrations under this label, I miss out on significant opportunities to learn and grow and mature. I miss out on opportunities for God to continually refine me into a person who – hopefully – reflects the peace, joy, hope, and love of Jesus to my First World neighbors.
And so, this morning – sensing that I was on a fast track towards debilitating discouragement – I decided to go for a run (for the first time in over three weeks). I often do some of my best, head-clearing, thinking while running. Towards the end of my run, I had an epiphany that I don’t just need the gift of refreshment that comes through rest. I need the gift that comes after rest just as much.
The gift of disequilibrium in my established routine that reminds me that ultimately my strength, growth, ability, and achievement comes from God and the Holy Spirit alive with in me. Not my time management skills, life hacks, and organizational apps.
I need to be derailed me from my well crafted routines occasionally to remember that – regardless of successes or failures – our worth is rooted in who we are, God’s beloved, not in what we can do.
So now while I’m back at the daily work of being, growing, writing, exercising, serving, and loving. I’m reminded to do so from The Source of Life, not sources that are crafted from my power and resources. These tools are good and helpful, but they are just that. Tools. They are not the source. And today I’m so glad to be reminded of the difference.
It is the perspective that grows from the cycle of rest, regrouping, and remembering. I need every stage to accomplish the work of blogging, writing, discipling, and nourishing community in a way that glorifies God and satisfies my soul.
What about you? How does rest both fuel and derail your daily work routine? What have you learned about the dilemma of rest?