Saturday, October 12, 2013
Resting and Being
My biggest takeaways from the Soulation Gold Gathering weren't the things I would have expected. Exhibit A: the importance of Sabbath. Sadly, it's been years since I consistently practiced any concept of Sabbath - my awareness of this lack was heightened before I even went to the Gathering. I know that rest is a COMMAND, which I ignore to my own detriment. But if I take a whole day to rest and/or do whatever I want, it's just not possible to get everything done. And I don't have enough hours in the other six days to work extra hard to free up the time. For me, the stress of that would negate the day of rest anyway.
But thinking about this, and experiencing the rest and refreshment I had in Colorado, cast the craziness of my everyday life into alarming relief. As I've mentioned before, for several months (and really for most of my adult life), I've been operating on adrenaline. There's no time for being, only for doing. I am addicted to doing, and the pressure to do constantly is tremendous. My journey with busyness has been somewhat like what many people experience with antidepressants. I reach an unhealthy place where I have to quit some activity for my own sanity. So I do. Then, before long, I'm presented with an attractive new opportunity. Because I feel so much better due to the increased free time, I think, "Yes, I can and should do this!" and happily sign up, and the cycle starts again. Soon I'm back in this maxed-out place wondering how I got here. I'm embarrassed at how many times this has happened.
2013 has been my year of learning to own my identity as a writer. So I'm newly aware that the frantic brain and the creative brain are diametrically opposed. I cannot create if I never stop rushing from one activity to the next. It's a smaller vicious cycle nested inside the first one - I'm overstressed, I can't think to write, then I feel more stressed because writing is how I process life. In a similar vein, when I'm too busy, I can't "hear" God. All the noise drowns Him out. Then I feel disconnected from Him, which makes everything else worse. To fulfill my calling and be fully human, I have to give my mind, heart, and soul more room to breathe. Taking time to rest is not selfishness. It's what enables me to do the important things.
So I'm starting small. I'm thinking a lot about how I can create pockets of rest in my life, more time to write and relax and be. I'll have to lay down some of my pride - in taking care of my lawn all by myself, in not being seen as undependable or a quitter. But more than a lesson in humility, this is a lesson in trust. I listen so readily to the voices of fear, to those who tell me I have to do more and more and more in order to find a man. In the quiet of the mountains, I felt God asking me, Hey, do you think you can trust Me with this? I didn't realize until that moment that, successfully spooked by "God won't bring the right man to your door," I'd gone to the opposite extreme.
It won't be easy, but it's time (again) to stop striving. It's time (again) to remember who's in charge of the universe, and stop feeling like I'm solely responsible to make everything happen. He's got this, and I need to quiet myself enough to listen for His voice and for the words He's given me. I need to lay in the sunshine and let it do its life-giving work on the seeds in my soul.