Why rest is essential to our creativity
I should yield with willing submission, but resisting rest seems to be my default mode most days as the drive to 'do' so often overtakes the desire to draw back and simply 'be'.
Periods of extra busyness leave me flat-out with fatigue, yet some part of me still refuses to heed the signs. I ride the rush of adrenaline, feeling wired as a coiled up spring.
So I keep on keeping on, persuading myself that this time I will ride the waves without them crashing me to the ocean floor. Foolish? You bet. Those things we long to press on with can instead become a steamroller flattening us to ground.
It makes me wonder: Are we so desirous of being busy, connected and 'out there' that fear of missing out persuades us to be unwise?
I know I am, more often than is helpful. When I do yield to rest, I sense God sighing with relief as I finally listen to Him.
God won't force us to slow down; He urges us to yield to His ways and picks us up when we fall. And He provides all the rest, ease and peace we crave inside.
Here's the thing: We can relax into rest with Him any time; we don't have to wait to be sick before we surrender.
God's love stretches toward us with infinite patience, complete acceptance and tender compassion.
If we fail to rest fully we will flounder and falter:
- Our energy, drive and creativity will stall
- Our joy will diminish
- Our stress levels will rise
- Our hope will be harder to hold onto
- Our hearts will become heavy and burdened
Prayer Whisper: Release and Rest
"In rest and repentance lies your strength. In surrender to Me you find your true significance.
Time may be of the essence, but I stand beyond its confines.
Have you considered that I also wrote eternity into your heart so you would seek Me with an open mind and embrace My love to infinity?
When you resist rest, you resist opportunity to hear from Me in the quiet corners of your day. Unless you can release the drive and desire to succeed into My hands, you will wear yourself out in circles of comparison and sink into ditches of discouragement.
Come and rest those ambitions, dreams, hopes and plans as you yield them to Me. I am the One who will exalt you in due time when you humble yourself before Me. It is My greatest desire for you to live in daily dependence on Me.
Come closer. Relax your hold on life and allow Me to carry you as I also keep all things safe. Here you will find deeper rest and peace. Trust all your cares and concerns are safe in My capable hands.
I know what you can bear and what is too heavy for you to carry. Seek My face at intervals throughout your day. I made you and I will sustain you."
Resting can feel counter-intuitive and counter-cultural, but inspiration flourishes when we take a breather, have a change of scenery or just stop for a while, sip coffee and watch the world go by.
Does fear of missing out or losing the creative flow stop you from resting?
Do you resist or yield gratefully to rest?
Joy Lenton is a grateful grace dweller, contemplative Christian writer, poet and blogger, author of 'Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life's hard places'.
She enjoys encouraging others on their journey of life and faith at her blogs wordsofjoy.me and poetryjoy.com as she seeks to discover the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal. You can connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.