Do you realize how accomplished you will feel when you choose to do less? I know what you're probably thinking. What I said doesn't make sense. The idea never made sense to me until the end of last week. But before I go on, let me remind you of my recent week. Last Monday, I declared a period of rest for myself. I set out to rest from my over zealous tendencies to accomplish too much. My goal was to spend more time being present in life and taking things a bit slower.
And guess what? It was hard. For one, I fought the temptation to continually access my smart phone. Using my search engine or reading my news feed always seemed like it would take a few minutes to look at. But then I reminded myself I often get sidetracked and end up spending way too much time on the internet. Can you relate?
It was also hard for me to pick out only a few things to work towards each day. Some mundane tasks like washing the linens, completing dinner preparations, and making a few phone calls didn't seem like much to me, but it was (in addition to taking care of my three children). So, instead of adding more to my “to do” list, I remained focused on a few essentials.
And you want to know the results of my restful week?
-I was more focused to complete tasks.
-I was more intentional with relationships.
-I prayed more.
-I felt less stressed.
-I felt more accomplished.
And finally, (thanks to my husband for giving me a chunk of time this past Saturday morning) I was able to spend time lingering in God's presence. And spending time in the presence of God is exactly where true rest is found.
Can a week get any better than that? I think not.
How about you? Did you join me last week in pursuing a more restful week? If not, there's always this week. If you are up for change, try the following ideas for a more restful week: (These worked for me, but I'm sure you can come up with more ideas.)
Focus on completing only a few essential tasks each day, and REST when you can. (Do something you enjoy!)
Resist the urge to be on your smart phone constantly. (It can often be mentally draining, depending on what you use it for.)
Use the extra time you've carved out to spend time with people that are important to you. (Do something fun!)
Pray! And when you pray, don't do all the talking. Try listening by being quiet in prayer.
For this week's study, we will be reading about God's presence. True rest is always found in him. And you know what else? God gives us more than just rest. Every longing we have is satisfied in him alone. I hope you'll join along in the study. My prayer is you would learn more about who God is this week. To download the reading guide, please click here. Let's begin by reading two verses from Monday's passage.
“The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” Psalm 97: 1-2, NIV
As you read these verses, consider the following questions:
What do these verses reveal about God's character?
In light of his character, why is it important to repent of our sin?
Photo: Olu Eletu