Mondays come around so fast, don’t they?! I worked on Saturday so the weekend felt a little shorter than normal, but I was still able to enjoy spending time with family who was in town (pictured below!), hanging out with one of my best friends, and going to church with Josh on Sunday.
I had difficulty sleeping on Saturday night, so Sunday I was up early with lots of time on my hands before church. I have been haphazardly rereading (for the thousandth time) An Unhurried Life, and I decided to dive into it for awhile in the quiet of the morning.
A few things struck me, one being that I have once again allowed myself to devolve into “busyness.” I swear I don’t know how it happens! One minute I’m feeling rested and peaceful, the next I’m running around from activity to activity with no time to stop and smell the proverbial flowers.
I love this quote from the book:
“Today many of us have been so conditioned by efficiency that times of sitting on the porch feel unproductive, irresponsible, lazy, even selfish. We know we need rest, but we can no longer see the value of rest as an end in itself; it is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries so we can be even more efficient in the next period of productivity.” -Gerald May
I definitely feel that way. When I do give myself time to rest, or to do something just for fun, I feel like I am “wasting” time. What a joyless way of living! I constantly go back to the words of Jesus telling us to become like little children. Kids have fun, they are typically pretty carefree, and they aren’t afraid to infuse their days with both rest and play.
Another thing that hit me is that just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I’m being productive. I can have 20 things on my calendar and it doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them are worthwhile endeavors.
Along those lines, Alan Fadling writes, “Sometimes we get snared by the belief that we are what we do. What we do is an expression of who we are; what we do does not establish who we are. This reversal of primary identity and secondary identity can energize unhealthy drivenness and be deadly to our soul. Such hyperactivity may produce impressive quantitative results, but the consequent heart-hardening hinders the degree to which the Spirit might energize these efforts.”
Am I producing good quality work that is honoring to God? Or am I just being busy, a hamster on a wheel, cramming my days full of hurried activity so that I feel valuable?
I so desperately do not want to settle for a merely busy life.
Fadling later references 1 Corinthians 15:10, which says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them- yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
He elaborates on the above Scripture, writing, “Grace enables quality, hard work. Grace does not inspire fruitless overwork.”
Add that to the list of things that I am constantly learning and relearning. Sometimes I think all my knowledge stays up in my head and never trickles down to my hands and feet, to action. This week I am looking forward to a chance to practice all of this. Quality of work over quantity. Plenty of rest and “unproductive” fun. More peace and less hurry. Bring it on.
2 responses to “Rest, Work, Play”
I love this. This year God has been teaching me to rest. My mantra I’ve had to repeat to myself many times daily is “be still.” Too often I cram my schedule for the sake of cramming my schedule, and so I won’t have to deal with the things that arise when I take time to sit with whatever I’m feeling. I love the quotes you included, and that breakfast looks delicious! Slow breakfasts are a must!
What a great mantra! It is so easy to resort to “default mode” and rush rush rush, but so worth it to choose another path. Thanks for reading, Naomi!