Ever been madly busy in day-to-day life? Like you don't have a spare minute anywhere in your week? Personally, I couldn't relate until a few weeks ago. My life had pretty much always had spare time. I read a lot, chatted to friends online, pottered about. OK, less since I started senior school. Life got full then. I read a lot less, and pottering about was all but eliminated. But still, I had spare moments. Then, just recently, I got a job. It was necessary, but all of as sudden... whoah! Where in my week am I supposed to fit up to 10 hours of work? I cut down my social time, reading got pushed out completely, and stuff blogging for a while!
That first weekend I had church youth camp. I went feeling like this would be my deep breath of social air and free time before I plunged into full-time busyness (yes, I did forget youth camp was supposed to be about connecting with God :/). But God had other plans. He spoke to me multiple times on camp about resting in Him. Oh, that's right! Resting in God during the busyness. That's probably a good idea, isn't it? Better than stressing.
So I determined to rest in God, to do everything in His power, not mine. Guess what? Things have gotten a lot better. And even when I feel overwhelmed, I am reminded of that reminder: be still and rest. And I find peace that blows minds, that goes above and beyond understanding.
There's also a few things I've kept in place that help cultivate this peace and keep me on the right track.
- Daily times with God. Spending time with God each day is something I've always known I need to keep in place, even if things are madly busy. Trust me, keeping that time aside to retreat into your sanctuary with God is a huge must. The other Saturday, I woke up after a sleep-in, went downstairs in my dressing gown to work out with my grandparents who were staying with us what they wanted to do to day. Then, I thought, I would go back upstairs and have my time with God. Well, we figured out they wanted to take the bus to the city, and by that time it was almost time to leave, so I rushed around getting ready and we bolted out the door to get to the bus on time. I hadn't had my time with God, and I can tell you, the rest of the day I was irritated, ruffled, and seeking after the wrong things to get rid of my restlessness (i.e. chats with friends). Peace only came when I had my quiet time that night.
- Keeping the Sabbath. Practically no-one does this any more, despite it being one of the Ten Commandments! However, my parents, to my eternal gratefulness, have always encouraged our family to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest. And I know that brings to mind images of hypocritical Pharisees and Jesus rebuking them for be so legalistic, but the Sabbath can be kept without nitpicking! Personally, I simply don't do anything that is 'work' to me (beyond, of course, the very necessities, like clearing the table from breakfast). I don't do school. I've let my supervisor know I can't work Sundays. Instead, I relax and re-create by slowing down and spending time in things I love - reading, blogging, playing games with siblings, etc. I might have a longer quiet time or read challenging or encouraging Christian books. My Dad might garden, because he finds that relaxing. I can't tell you how awesome keeping the Sabbath is! It's not a drain, it's a chance to slow down and be re-created (that's the meaning of the word recreation). Although I've never really experienced the downsides of not keeping the Sabbath, I certainly know the positives of keeping it! You might think you can't spare the time to just relax on Sundays, but in actuality, if you chose to keep Sabbaths as holy and to trust God with all your 'pressing needs,' you will be incredibly blessed.
So in the midst of my crazy life, I've learned (in part at least; I'm not nearly all the way there) to lean on God and rest in Him. And it reaps great rewards.
Do you have any stories about trusting God with your time, or any other things you keep in place to help you rest? Feel free to comment, or email me!