I’ve never really confessed this to many people, but here it goes.
Up until a few days ago, the first thing I did right after I woke up in the morning was … check my email.
Yep, I’m one of those people who have a hard time putting the constant flow of the inbox away. My cell phone charger is all too conveniently right on my nightstand, so it’s too easy to reach over, check the time on my phone, and then start digging through the inbox.
This has been a growing habit of mine for some time, but I’ve found that recently, it’s gotten a little crazy. It’s like I’m tied to my email and my phone. Especially owning my own business now, it’s been hard to put it away in fear that someone might need me, and if they can’t reach me – it’s all over and done with. Or now that I’m a mom – what if there’s an emergency?
Can anyone else relate?
Learning to Shut Off my Phone for Rest
This past weekend, our life group took a retreat to the Ozarks area where I forced myself to keep my email inbox closed – both on my computer and my phone. I wasn’t attached to my email all weekend, and the one time I did check it – I made sure to keep it less than 10 minutes and close it right away. And you know what happened? I gained clarity. I didn’t die. And the world kept turning.
When life gets busy for me, my mind starts to get fogged up and I can’t think clearly. Things like remembering my to-do list or keeping my house clean start to fall by the wayside. Even worse, I start to detach myself from God and get further and further away from Him the busier and more side-tracked I get. When it gets out of control, I can lose vision and passion for what I’m called to do, and what God wants for my life.
It took a weekend getaway with our group for me to unplug a little bit and regain that clarity. And what I learned along the way has me shaking my head, realizing that it’s one of the most simple, obvious lessons I need to remember as a Christian: rest.
Learning to Follow God’s Example to Sabbath
I’ve never been good at resting. I mean I’m a good napper – but actually finding time to rest is not one of my specialties. There’s always something to do, with some sort of urgency or emergency tied to it. Or so I think. So taking a whole day, much less a weekend, to rest is a big step for me.
But as I stepped away this weekend, God reminded me of his example He set when he created the whole world and then took a day off.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:1-3
Little bit bigger of a project than me getting the church bulletin ready, or writing blogs for people. God showed me this weekend that I MUST rest, for it’s how I will continue to keep my spiritual fervor and serve the Lord. Rest is how I will hear from Him. Rest will help me know my calling. Rest will give me peace. Rest will keep me going.
So – I’m on Day 2 of keeping my email open while I’m working – and not while I’m resting. And it’s going really great. I sometimes shake my head at how it simple the solution really is when it comes to our faith and finding God in the midst of it all. But I’m finally realizing that rest isn’t just a nice suggestion or lofty goal to try and hit sometime – but it’s mandate from God, an example set by Him, to take a break, to shut off the email, and to really lay it down for a bit.