It was a lovely week. The weather was outrageously beautiful – we even had two major rain storms, which we badly needed. And I got lots of rest, spent time with friends and my sweet husband, and had tons of studio time.
It took me nearly all of that time to shed the distractions and pressure that are part of my usual non-vacation existence, and allow my mind and spirit to get calm and still. Selfishly, I could have used another week in that head space before going back to work! Someone I shared that with laughed and called me greedy, and I laughed too – but then I started thinking about it. Is it really greedy to want to be in that place of calm productivity and effectiveness?
God’s word instructs us to “be still and know he is God.” The word for “still” literally means to sink down, to withdraw, to relax, to abandon or forsake. In some biblical translations, it is rendered as “stop striving” – and the meaning of “striving” includes this one: to struggle in opposition. “Stop struggling in opposition and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10) In opposition to what? What am I struggling against?
I desperately needed a time of rest and renewal, and a shift in my mind and heart away from busyness and towards balance and calm. My vacation came just in time. But among other things I am bringing with me out of that time and back into my daily life are some questions: why can’t I have that balance and calm more often? What am I struggling against so hard that I am so frequently exhausted and discouraged? It isn’t what God wants for me – or for anyone. There’s something I’ve been missing.
I’m pressing in to hear from God on this, although I already know at least some of the answers. More time in him and less in my own head (which can be a scary, scary place!). More time doing for others and less for myself. More time responding and less time reacting. More time enjoying what is and less time worrying about what isn’t.
I know all this. And I know from personal experience that these things are not only possible but necessary. I know my Father is good and generous, and that life in him is full and abundant and satisfying. So what am I struggling against? I think it’s time to find out – because I don’t ever want to be that exhausted and discouraged again. And that isn’t greedy.