This month is shaping up to be very busy for me. I have a to-do list that’s as long as April the giraffe is tall. I can tick off task after task all the live-long day and still think of more things I need to do as I lay in bed at night. This probably isn’t a good time for me to slow down.
Except slowing down is the lesson God seems to want to teach me right now.
I’m in the middle of a study on the twelve spiritual disciplines. So far we’ve covered prayer, confession, meditation, study, fasting, Sabbath and silence. Some of these practices I have down. They’re almost reflexes – I just do them because it’s what I do. I’ve practiced them long enough that they’re part of my “muscle memory”.
And then there are the others. The ones that require me to do nothing (which is vastly different than requiring nothing of me). Meditation, Sabbath, and silence. I even said to God, “I’ll start implementing these exercises after Katie’s graduation in May. I don’t have time to do nothing right now. I’m much too busy. After our company leaves following the ceremony, I’ll have nothing but time to really dig in and do nothing.”
I’m pretty sure He rolled his eyes and shook His head. By His nudge, I realized the ridiculousness of my plan.
I do not think it’s a coincidence that I’m learning these things in the midst of the chaos. It’s hard to empty my mind of the perpetual thoughts regarding all there is to do. I go from meditating on a particular scripture to trying to solve a problem I’m having with a certain website design. Or as I’m practicing silence, attempting to hear God, I start contemplating the logistics of painting the bedroom and which color would be best.
And then there’s Sabbath. There are so many things I could be doing on Sunday after church, crossing off one item after another on my long list. Instead, I’m choosing to trust God with the time I’m giving back to Him. He is ever faithful. I know He will give it back and I will be able to accomplish what I need to. It may not be everything on my list, but it will be enough.
Out of these three disciplines, Sabbath is the hardest for me. Which is funny when you consider that I can nap like a boss on a Sunday afternoon. But I am overwhelmed right now so it feels like I’m just wasting my time, not accomplishing anything. Which causes me to freak out because I have no idea how I’m ever going to get everything done.
What I’m learning through this is that I have to depend on God. When that anxiety starts to creep in I turn to Him. And each time the turning happens a little quicker, a bit sooner than it did the last time.
It’s glorious, that giving over to God. The relief and joy and peace is instantaneous. And that’s when my soul finds the rest it needs in God and I can say without a doubt that my hope comes from Him.