Last month Angie and I took a very unique vacation. It had been a year since we had missed a Sunday, and we were tired. So we found a cheap rental down in the hills of Tennessee and headed south. We didn’t go where the tourists go. We didn’t see any sights. Instead, we went to a cabin in the middle of the country. Our phones didn’t work. There was no internet. Every morning a sweet German woman would leave fresh bread at our door. When I would wake and walk outside, I was often greeted by a peacock sitting on the porch, and from there I looked down upon a pond overflowing with foul.
It was a time to rest. A time to sleep. To read. To talk. Nowhere to go and nowhere to be. Just reconnecting with my beloved. It was magical. I have been home for a month, and I am still reaping the rewards from that great rest.
As 2019 began, I made a commitment. In years past, rest was a ejector seat. It was only when I saw stress cracks upon my soul that I made some kind of plan to stop running so hard. That is not the life I wish to lead. Being tired all the time is not some testament to the human spirit. It is not bragging rights nor the goal of our days. Rest is a gift that is given from on high, and it is meant to be received.
This year, I am scheduling rest.
Weekly I will take a day to rest. Like God after creating the world. In obedience to the fourth commandment. I am going to work 6 days and take one off. My days off are not full of nothing. Instead, they are full of other somethings. They are full of silence. Full of Angie. Full of the kids. Some days off I will go out and chop wood, because that is something that makes me happy. Some days off I will watch a movie while the kids are at school. The days may look different, but I am putting down the burden and taking time to breathe. It feels nice.
This kind of rest is not going to happen by accident. I know life will come and eat this. So i put it in my calendar. I write it in stone. I have already scheduled some time away with my beloved before the year has even begun. We can’t do the cabin thing again, but we can do something. Maybe a three day weekend up north. Or see some friends in Chicago. Who knows? The point is, we have the time on the books. Before the cracks appear.
Scheduling the rest is being proactive. I know it is needed. I know it is good. So I am going to claim this gift and enjoy it. My calendar has become a guardian of my life. I am not just putting on it the things I must get done for work, but I am putting onto it the things I know I need to truly thrive.
I am thankful for the fresh bread. I am grateful for the peacocks. I am in awe at the companionship of my wife. I sing praises over the lives of my children. Resting in the midst lets me drink of it fully.