I’m actually writing this before I head out for a few days away with my family. I wanted to share a post, but I also want to take a few days to do as little work as possible. So, here I am on a Friday afternoon writing for a Tuesday post so that I can take intentional downtime. Downtime is important. It’s vital, in fact, that we take the time to unplug, relax, and renew ourselves.
I get used to going all of the time, used to making productivity and results a measure of my worth. And when I’m not measuring my worth by the number of widgets I’ve built, I’m on the go to get to this event or that event. Hustling is my regular cadence, my regular rhythm. I’m accustomed to hitting it hard and being a little bit tired all of the time.
With the shelter-in-place order, my work doesn’t look like it once did. It feels like I work all of the time and, at the same time, like I don’t actually work. And, while it seems like I ought to be more rested since I have more time at home, I actually feel less rested. The temptation at this time, at least for me, is to stress out because of my decreased productivity and use that as a reason to work more and work harder. My inner critic is full of things that I should be doing and reasons I shouldn’t allow myself to rest. Push, push, push.
In the Bible, in the book of Exodus, there’s a story about Pharoah and God. God sends Moses to talk to Pharoah and tell him that the Hebrew people need to go into the wilderness and take time apart. Pharoah says (basically), “What in the hell? Why would I let the people work less? They need to work more.” Pharoah’s way is a way of work, work, work. Build bricks, build bricks, build bricks. But God’s way, the way that I am called to live, says that rest is a vital part of the world’s rhythm. I don’t get to rest because I’ve earned it. Instead, I get to rest just because I am.
So, I’m taking a few days to rest. To rejuvenate. I’m going to participate in that rest that I am called to take, not because I’ve been productive and therefore I get to take a break, but because resting is not synonymous with laziness.
I hope you’ll take some time to take deep breaths, to rest some even if it doesn’t feel like you’ve earned it. You’re worth it. And you deserve it. Just because you are.