I’m not always jealous of infants and toddlers, but I think they have something going for them with that whole required nap time thing.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not very good at resting. Don’t get me wrong–I love a good nap, but I often have a difficult time letting myself slow down long enough to do pretty much nothing. But, what I have come to realize is that “nothing” is sometimes actually so much more than “something.”
I went on the women’s retreat with my church over the weekend, and at first I was somewhat stressing about it. I mean, I just felt like I had so much work to do on so many different things, and an entire weekend away was a lot and not exactly what I needed. Well, it turns out it was actually so much more than what I needed.
I was reminded of three extremely important truths on the retreat that I overlook far too often:
Disconnecting isn’t always a bad thing. I think it’s quite easy to get caught up in constantly checking emails or social media networks that we often forget that it’s OK (and even healthy) to escape from them every now and then. Leave work behind you for a bit. I was able to chat and have authentic conversations with people all weekend without a phone constantly in my hands. And there was no need to take and post a boatload of pictures, either. A picture may be “worth a thousand words,” to some, but I’d prefer a genuine chat with actual words any day. (I’m not saying I don’t love pictures and never post them; I’m simply saying not every single moment has to be documented.)
Everyone has a story. You might read that and think, “Duh,” but how often do you actually consider that in your daily life? We’re surrounded by other individuals–many whom we don’t know–yet we rarely take the time truly to care about who they are. Maybe the person who rolled her eyes at you when she saw you were struggling with the self-checkout process while she was standing behind you at the grocery store is going through a rough divorce; perhaps the man who cut you off on the highway is rushing to be on time to his son’s last high school baseball game ever; it’s possible that the guy at the gym you think is cute won’t look your way because he’s trying to recover from a broken heart; maybe your workout buddy has been moody lately because she’s enduring some storms in her personal life.
Sometimes we have to look at situations and try to see beyond what’s simply on the surface.
I enjoyed getting to know so many different individuals of all different ages and walks in life over the weekend and being able to hear their unique stories. We all have stories–sometimes we just need people to listen to them.
True peace does exist. We live in a very busy world. It’s full of chaos and struggle. The madness can consume you if you let it. But there is so much peace in Christ. Just seeing the work of God in nature can be enough to make you sit and stare up at the sky in wonder. How does He do it? And why does the same God who created all of this love me in spite of how flawed I am? Being reminded of His crazy agape love He has for us–a love that loves us simply for who we are–is comforting in a way that I can’t explain. It provides a peace like nothing else can or ever will.
Every once in a while, it’s good to get away and find that rest and relaxation our souls long for and need. Your iPhone (or whatever you non-Apple people use) can’t function for you if you don’t charge it. Similarly, people need their own versions of recharging in order to live life and to live it fully.
And when you find that peace, you may discover just how big of a “something” that “nothing” really is.