The lift away from when day pulls to lowering me down. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an early riser and late goer, meaning my candle burns on both ends, often leaving me short on strength and pulled thin. The extra time seemed to be always worth hours of sleep forgotten, or foregone. And for what - a movie, writing, reading, entertaining - more of what I wanted: excess and indulgence. I’d pride myself on the amount of time I could own, surviving on 4-5 hours of sleep just so I could do more.
Do more - that’s always been my problem, my vulnerability and my idol.
The more I do, the better I feel and more valuable I define myself. In fact, when I think about it, I am a taker of time, both mine and others. That is, unless I am giving in a relationship, I feel near worthless and indispensable, so I work to earn and keep my place.
And so, the problem with constantly doing to be valued and pulling more hours away from sleep is weariness; the kind of weariness that droops shoulders low like that of willow trees bending down to the earth. The larger problem, of course there always is a larger problem, is the business of making life more unholy.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.”
In simple, but functional meaning, remembering the Sabbath is to rest - to rest from pursuit and accomplishment. It is to still yourself and stop from running the same pace 24/7 until you simply cannot go anymore. There’s no lasting achievement is spending yourself empty, only stress, worry, anxiety, unhealthy and defiance. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with hard work and diligence, but when we only reach for more all the time, we value ourselves over all else; we overlook beauty in simplicity, count as worthless any idle time, rush through the miracle of each day and miss opportunities to be thankful.
I’ve pushed harder than normal lately, leaving me not just tired, but weary. As a result of doing and going, my life diminished to the size of me, focused narrowly on all that I must get done. This is a lie. This is life unholy. I am unhealthy. Tangled in worry, pride, self-doubt and fear, all as a result of unrest and pursuit valued higher than God’s goodness and provision. I’ve kept myself from rest. I’ve kept myself from God.
Learning to rest requires an intentional plan of honoring God with a day unlike the other six, otherwise my rest happens sporadically only when I can no longer go more. On this day, I rest by not pursuing life as I do throughout the week. I can do nothing on this day that causes me to be an ounce more valuable in God’s eye. Resting helps me see the glory and goodness in each day. I am more thankful and more alive.
(*Exodus 20:8, ESV)
featured image: Willow blue cloud 2 by Thelonious58