Rest is important, but rest is hard.

I’m coming off of a year with very little rest. Seriously, very little rest. We are talking about no more than 6 hours of sleep most nights, being with people from 7am to 12pm, taking classes and working and teaching. I was busy, but I was happy. I was also dreaming of rest.

Candles. Books. Finally enough sleep. Crafts. Friends. Rest.

I just graduated college. I’m home for a few weeks and I am sitting here amidst an abundance of rest. I’ve been reading and sleeping. I even started reupholstering a chair today (I’ve never done that before, but it sounded like a good idea and I have the time, so why not?). I’m doing anything and everything to fill my days with rest. But I am sitting here restless. I don’t like it.

Why do I feel the need to make my day busy with “restful” activities? Oh the irony.

Why is real rest so hard?

…Questions you ask yourself when you have the time.

Well I can tell you from my restful musings that rest is hard because we don’t really know how to do it. We live in a time that honors the busy, the achievers, the people who never waste a second of their day. I am a part of this. Side track for a second–I was in class a few months back and my professor said something along the lines of “I really am a better person when I’m busy.” That resonated with me. I truly do feel best when I am doing, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, especially if there is purpose in what we are doing (this makes me want to go into a whole other conversation on purpose, but I’ll save that for another day).

All of this being said, my point is this. While there is purpose in what we do, we must also realize that there is purpose in the rest that comes after doing. Sure, it’s easy to see the results of our doing, but rest is where some of the greatest changes can occur.

Times of rest are when we get the chance to reflect–to look deep into ourselves, to dive into beliefs, to dream, to reevaluate and work through things that we don’t like. Of course, reflection is rarely comfortable. It’s much easier to stay busy, to avoid thinking because thinking can be scary.

But it’s good.

Rest is what keeps priorities in check; busy schedules rarely do that. Rest has purpose and it also teaches us about our purpose. If we feel purposeless in the season of waiting, what then are we drawing our sense of purpose from? Things to think about.

So “embrace the rest” I say to my antsy, impatient, restless self. The rest I take now can only prepare me better for the joyfully busy seasons to come. The rest of now can only help me to see purpose in all the seasons.