I have preached this sermon myself. You need rest. Your brain needs rest. You are supposed to turn off your phone. Be present. Focus.
But then, a big project comes up. Your kids need your help with school. The fundraiser for the non-profit you are a part of is just around the corner.
So you stay up late. You text through the soccer game. You answer one more email (make that five more emails) and are late to your appointment. You feel like your list is never ending. If you could just get that one next thing done, the crazy would ease and you could breathe.
You’re waiting until you are successful to take a break and enjoy the fruit of your labor. You worry if you stop now, you will fail. Someone’s needs will go unmet. You won’t be able to pay the next bill. And so, you keep going and keep pushing, afraid to rest.
I sat in the pew at church. Listening. I hadn’t been in ages but this weekend, I felt that urge to go, to fill my soul with love and light and be reconnected. I was looking forward to seeing the pastor and hearing her message (we get into our routines, right?) But the pastor was on vacation. She was fearlessly taking time off.
The substitute pastor read from the Old Testament, Daniel 3:19-30. The passage told of 3 young men who refused to bow down to the new government and worship the leader as their god. They were thrown into the fire. God’s angel came down and protected them leaving them unharmed. This faithfulness was rewarded and the young men were named as leaders. Then she went on to read from Deuteronomy 5:14-15, the fourth of 10 Commandments, "work six days but rest on the 7th." She went on to say, if you have faith that you will be protected then why would you FEAR taking one day a week to rest?
My mind was blown. I never thought of it that way. I didn’t realize that I was afraid to rest. I realized that not taking time to rest was a two fold issue:
I needed that message. I imagine you do, too, if you are reading this today.
What can you do? What works for me is a short journaling process (it can be as long as you need it to be).
What are you afraid will happen if you take a day off? Write it all down start with the prompt, “I am afraid…” and see where it takes you. Then, respond to each of those fears with what you can control and take action on, if anything.
I’ll be creating a new hashtag, #ImNotAfraidToRest. Tag me in your day off.
Hi! I'm Nettie Owens, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and Productivity Consultant.