Monday, February 23, 2009
That does not mean that it didn't have its restful moments; it did. But it wasn't the fully restful experience I needed.
I'm not sure I really understand (or remember) how to rest. There is always something to do, always something to think about, always something lurking that I'm afraid I forgot. I am always jumping in to do things with and for people. And while these are not bad things in and of themselves, when I don't take the time to stop and truly rest, I feel myself sinking into the realm of the burnt out and overwhelmed. That's just not good - for anyone around me.
It takes over my productivity. I can still do things, but the quality and time efficiency suffers.
I used to be able to wake up in the morning and start reading a book (stopping only for meals - and sometimes not even really stopping) and finish it by the time I needed to go to bed. Where have those days gone? I used to play the piano for a few hours at a time and barely notice how much time had passed. The last time I sat down to play, after about 15 minutes, I felt like I should stop and do the other "more productive" things in my head. I wished I had just stayed there, and kept playing.
That, to me, is one of the best ways to truly rest. To recharge, reenergize. We need those things. They seem like a waste of time as they don't "accomplish" anything, but in reality they do. They accomplish alot: they put us back in the state we began in, so we are ready to jump back in and give our all.
Next time, when I feel like I 'should' stop, I'll try to remember to just keep playing, and only quit to go read a book. Only then will I be able to rest, and therefore, truly shine.
Friday, February 20, 2009
This theological and intangible subject of time is not, however, the original reason for this post. I don't plan to get into quite that depth right now. It is merely a reflection of the perception I have of time this week. On Monday, I knew that it would be a long week; I had an event coming up for which there was a ton of work to do. Sometimes, that amount of work helps time go quickly, and though I spent alot of time working on it, I felt like it was simultaneously going far far too quickly, and would never ever end. Yesterday was one of the longest quickest days ever. I was running out of time quite literally - the event was yesterday evening - but I felt like 5:30 would never come. Then, it did, and I was running around finding things, talking to people, tallying items, cleaning, and BOOM: it was 9:30. What happened to those 4 hours?
How is it that we have such a strange & contradictory thought process or "feeling" about time? And, that it happens most when we are either a) very very busy or stressed or b) wishing that Christmas break would never end (or whatever time off you have). We feel like this week will never end, but then, all of the sudden, it's over. We think that special day will never come, but then, it was a week ago already. Is there any other way of experiencing time? I'm not sure that there is. I don't know if I've ever felt like "yeah, this week was about a week long" or "yeah, that felt like it went at about the right speed (of time)."
I kind of feel like laughing now. Time sure is a funny thing.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Then, in the last week or so, I noticed a trend in what God has been saying to me through my devotions. I am reading through the Bible on a schedule with my church and thus the passages I'm reading are not "by choice" but "by direction." It always interests me to see what God shows me in a book I would not normally consider for spiritual growth (like Leviticus...) and how it intersects with the other books I'm reading (like Acts). The trend lately has been as follows:
- Be faithful to God as He is faithful to me. (Definitely as hard as you could possibly dream it would be. We truly are fallen creatures.)
- Trust God fully because He knows me (and everything else) more intimately that I can imagine. (This bashed me over the head from praying over the first verse of Psalm 24 this last weekend, although I have noticed it in other passages lately as well)
- Give over & let go of your control in EVERY situation and emotion. This ties into the previous 2 things, but has a separate connotation. It means that I am humble, and strive to be teachable and have integrity (a co-worker pointed this out from Psalm 25:4-5).
Now, these are all fabulous lessons that I am still learning, and I'm not sure there will ever come a day when I have completed those lessons (if I think I get there, it'll mean I need to take a good, hard look, and most likely start over). They are not easy, but they are definitely good.
Last night as I read Pride & Prejudice (one of the current "for fun" choices), I came across this statement from the (somewhat distant) sister, Mary: "Pride is a very common failing I believe...human nature is particularly prone to it..." It hit me that the sin of pride is one of the largest reasons we as humans do not trust God (we can do it ourselves, and probably better anyway) and strive to keep control and power over situations, others, etc., (why would you ever let someone else run your life?) and this all leads us to be unfaithful to our Creator.
I challenge you to examine your heart, and the depths of your soul. Where are you in this line of thinking? Do you strive to follow Him, and find yourself messing up, confessing, and striving again? Or, do you just think you can do things better and thus push God further from yourself?
When we admit that we can't do it alone, that we need His perfect guidance, we see blessings, we see growth. We need to strive for the perfect holiness that He demonstrates. We need to be teachable, we need to be humble. That is a very hard lesson in the world we live in. But it is necessary if we ever want to truly glorify the One who saves us. And when we do these things, our perspective shifts and even the hardest of tasks or situations are easier (not easy, mind you) because He is leading.
That's the greatest blessing of all.