Pregnancy initially hit me like a tonne of bricks. In my mind, I’d always imagined it as a peaceful, romantic time. Not spending
days weeks in bed with a sick bowl beside me, only getting up for toilet breaks. Or being afraid that the first ultrasound scan might reveal there was nothing there as I simply did not feel pregnant. Or being unable to eat many of my favourite foods and cook for my family.
But in those first few months, I was forced to do something that has since (as I feel healthier) helped me to enjoy pregnancy, and enjoy life, more. I was forced to rest.
Restfulness and slowness have become very negative words in today’s fast-paced world. If we are resting, we tend to feel guilty about it, as though we should constantly be doing and filling our schedules to the brim. We feel like we are not performing well enough at work if we are not stretched thin, or like we might be judged if we are not volunteering ourselves for every activity our churches, schools, and other communities run.
But even God rested.
If we are not making time to rest, to take life slowly, in our weeks, then what we are essentially saying is: “I know better than you, God. I can do more than You can.”
Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky recently wrote a wonderful post entitled “In Celebration of Slow”. Her beautiful words reminded me, now that I am back to good health and able to ‘speed up’ again, that sometimes we have to go against the rush of the world and just savour the slow.
It might be making time for creativity in your day. It might be going for a slow walk in the sunshine and soaking in the sounds of nature. It might be curling up on the sofa and reading. It might be visiting a local coffee shop and having some ‘you time’ or chatting with a close friend.
Rest has a thousand different faces. But it always re-energises and relaxes. It teaches you to go slow, to enjoy the moment, to find the grace in the everyday.
It is something that God asks us to do, something He did Himself. So if you find yourself too busy to rest or to pray, then perhaps it is worth asking yourself if you are where God really wants you to be, and if everything you are doing is something He has called you to.
So may you rest today. May you close your eyes and shut out the busyness, and just be. May you allow God to extend you grace, and trust that that really is all you need. May you learn to slow down in such a fast-paced world. May you enjoy this day, this moment, this life that you have been called to live, and not let it pass you by. You only get to do it once.