The thing about rest, it seems to me, is that either we don’t have enough and we start going crazy, or we have too much and we start going crazy. It’s a challenge to find the balance point.
Two summers ago, I was hit with some sort of mystery illness (“We think it’s probably a virus”, which is doctor-speak for “yeah, we have no idea what’s going on”) that laid me out for several weeks. I couldn’t eat much and I had no energy, and so work was out of the question and so was almost everything else. I just lay on the couch, resting, or trying to. I don’t really remember what-all I did; I dozed, I read, I probably watched a little too much tv. Sometimes I just sat there.
That was rest enforced by outside circumstances, and it drove me nuts. I was bored. I was sedentary, but I wasn’t really resting. My body was recuperating, but not much was going on with my soul.
I can contrast this with other parts of my life, where it felt like I was getting no rest at all. Work, church, school, other commitments… I was busy (and part of me likes to be busy), and I was exhausted. I wasn’t getting any real rest, and though my body was busy enough to get good sleep through sheer tiredness… again, my body was resting, but there wasn’t much going on with my soul.
Soul-rest is the real rest, I think. I’ve been learning something about it this Lent. I gave up tv (and movies, and youtube…) and so have been forced to do things with my off-hours that are actually restful. I’ve been practising piano, and colouring, and playing scrabble with Stan in the evenings. I’ve been cooking and sewing and writing. I’ve been reading more than usual. And in absence of noise, I’ve been sitting in the quiet.
I’m learning how to rest.
Link up with Lisa-Jo and others for Five-Minute Friday here.