I was listening to tobyMac on the way to work the other day and Henley’s favorite song came on. “Lose My Soul”
I was singing the words and remembering sitting with her at a concert just three rows back from the stage. (or was it six?) Either way, it was the closest I’d ever been to being able to reach out and grab the shoe of an entertainer.
No worries. I restrained myself.
But after the last chords of “Lose My Soul” resonated through the arena, Henley promptly fell asleep in her chair. For the entire remainder of the concert.
This baffled and annoyed me all at the same time. For starters, how in the world does one fall asleep in a room with screaming fans and bass that will shake several city blocks? And second, I was a little miffed that I forked over all of that cash to take my daughter to a concert that puts her to sleep.
I will mention that Henley can saw logs practically anywhere and doesn’t seem to mind the location. In fact, it was like that again last night. After we finished the final pages of her reading time on the couch she crawled onto the floor and dosed off. Immediately. I’m talking full REM sleep, ya’ll!
She knows when she needs rest and is very adamant about taking it.
Me? Not so much.
In fact, if you could see me pushing through the writing of this post you’d wonder why I don’t get some sleep because it’s painfully obvious I can barely keep my eyes open.
Or perhaps you wouldn’t notice, as I’m sitting here typing in the dark.
Lately, though, I’ve had to stop and think hard about rest. It’s honestly taken the advice of my doctor who is helping me work through my autoimmune disease to tell me it was time to take seriously the need for reducing systematic stress. To get more sleep. To rest.
Yet, why should it take a doctor to get me to realize something that God makes very clear in scripture?
We taught our high school youth group a lesson Sunday night on keeping Sabbath rest and how important this is to our spiritual walk.
I’d be lying if I said that I’ve fully heeded to the call for rest. I’ve felt the conviction to slow myself down for awhile but I’m still falling really short. I’ve made it a point to stop overcommitting outside the home, but inside the home I’m still pushing myself. When I committed to #write31days I knew that I wouldn’t be able to write every single day. Yet I still feel the pressures of a “commitment” so there’s a voice that is not Godly that whispers to me that I must. carry. on…
What is that quote? “If the devil won’t make you bad he’ll make you busy?”
Someone asked me once why we needed Jesus. If this one reason doesn’t convey the certainty of the need for a savior then I don’t know what does. It’s proof alone that we will ignore the direction God knows is best for us and try to push through on our own accord. Even for something as seemingly innocent as skipping the rest He so graciously gives us. Why wouldn’t there be a need to send Someone else to do the job to fulfill the law for us?
After our discussion with the youth group I decided to go back and read some scripture on my own.
In Exodus 16, God gave the Israelites the task of gathering manna for six days out of the week, making certain that they only took what they needed and were allowed to take a double portion on the sixth day in order to sustain their hunger through the seventh day. They were to make sure that they managed that sixth day with care. To be good stewards of that time and the resources they were given.
I tend to easily forget that rest is a gift to me. God’s not asking me to push through. He’s asking me to be a good steward of my time so I don’t have to let go of that rest. He’s asking me to be a good steward of my money so I don’t have to commit to an extra job.
He’s asking me to take only what I need so that my excess in life doesn’t rob me of what is rightfully mine.
Once again, I learn wisdom from one of my children. Through Henley’s insistently sleepy eyes that drift off at her body’s first sign of fatigue I know that there are just some things I am not to fight. Some things I need to leave margin for.
Because finding rest is that important…