I've always thought of resting after expending energy -- as a replenishment for what I had just experienced or endured. So, if I took a run then I'd rest once I had finished my run. Or if I had been really busy finishing up a project, I'd work really hard for an extended period of time THEN I'd rest and recooperate. And to some degree that is still true -- however...
I've been learning both from looking at SABBATH over the last several months and practicing SABBATH for the past couple of years -- that it really is more about a rhythm that prepares my heart, soul, and body for what lies ahead. When I am rested and my soul is replenished through time with God I am in a much better place to live well in whatever circumstance I find myself in.
Let me be very practical -- and literal. We've been facing some difficult family situations that are requiring a lot of emotional and physical energy. My point is this... if I were to have walked into this new challenge already spent and exhausted in body and soul, I would have very little if anything to give. I'd be trying to squeeze out compassion and care from a depleted place. So, I am thankful I've been learning to practice SABBATH and have been experiencing the richness of a soul connected to God. I am thankful God is sustaining us all and providing in small and tangible ways. I am thankful I have a family to love and care for. I know I have to continue to practice SABBATH both before and after -- really in the midst of living this life!
Adulthood is mostly about getting things done. Past a certain age, our existence is consumed by obligation. So one of the first things to die in adults in playfulness.
Remember how much fun you had playing children's board games? This week take time to play. Even if it's just for an hour or half hour. Start slow. Find a park swing or read a fun magazine, or treat yourself to ice cream, or some other forbidden treat you haven't had since childhood.
Just do something for no purpose except to enjoy, spending time producing nothing but adrenaline, laughter and memories.
The devil distracts. God interrupts. And for some reason, we fall prey to the one and grow oblivious to the other.
Brother Lawrence found the most simple device for reversing this. In his small, wise book, The Practice of the Presence of God, he speaks about a companionship with Jesus that is without boundary--not in time, or place, or circumstance. Anywhere, everywhere, in anything, you can be with God. God wishes it and invites it and is present and available right now for it. The only thing missing is us.
How aware are you, right now, that Jesus is with you? Why don't you greet him, out lout or, if that's awkward, in your heart? A discipline of becoming present with God in season and out, in church and away, in crisis and routine, in ecstasy and heartache, in thrill and tedium.
Throughout your day, just keep saying hello.