Anyone strolling past my window would have thought I’d gone absolutely nutty.
There I stood in the middle of the kitchen, casting track pants and socks to the right and left, wriggling into my jeans, pulling on my jumper, all the while hurriedly making lunch and texting a friend to find out her address. Crazy, I know, but somehow I thought doing it all at the same time would save precious minutes.
You see, I was in a rush.
I had packed that particular day full with events, scheduled right down to the minute. When a few unexpected extras were thrown into the mix, I went into a spin.
Do you ever have days like that? Days where you feel like you’re rushing around in a mad frenzy?
As women, young and old, the list that can get us running is endless: study, work, family, home, school, church and community responsibilities. Being busy can be satisfying. Too much activity, however, can be our undoing.
Five years ago my over-loaded life led to multiple bouts of stress and sickness. I was the striving super-mum, desperately trying to juggle too many balls. God spoke firmly, directing me to lay down all the involvements that I held with passion at that time. All of them. I felt naked, void of identity and stripped back to bare bones.
Over many months, though I fought it, God gently taught me how to rest. I learnt that He loved me even when I didn’t achieve anything significant. His constant encouragement released me to enjoy taking life slowly and appreciate the littlest things. Gradually, my health and frayed emotions were restored.
Through that intense time, my approach to life had been transformed. Like a butterfly finally emerging from its restrictive cocoon, I was able to unfurl my wings and launch into the world again, this time choosing to rest regularly. I’d discovered that taking time to breathe wasn’t an optional extra. It was a vital component of a life well-lived.
God created us to work, play and rest. He understands our need for space, both physical and emotional, because He planted it in us, right from the beginning of humanity. He is not a hard taskmaster. Though we push on in our driven lifestyles, He longs to rescue us, quiet our hearts and renew our souls. Those moments of stillness with Him give us opportunity to reflect, count our blessings and gain His perspective. Insights come that give us new vision and enthusiasm for our tasks. Most importantly, times of rest sift our motivations. They help us see clearly why we do what we do, and whether we should continue the way we have been.
I read a quote in my teens that has been a comfort to me many times since. “There is time for us to do everything God wants us to do.” In other words, we won’t run out of time if we’re walking with God. Above everything else that screams for our attention as women, our primary task in life is to find out what He is asking of us and do it wholeheartedly. Nothing more. It could be something as simple as loving our family. It could be something which has worldwide impact. Either way, we can be confident that if we follow His call, our life will be fulfilling and He, knowing what we need, will bring the right balance between work and rest.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23: 2-3a.