ACW

ACW

Monday, 18 April 2016

Why rest is essential to our creativity



I should yield with willing submission, but resisting rest seems to be my default mode most days as the drive to 'do' so often overtakes the desire to draw back and simply 'be'. 

Periods of extra busyness leave me flat-out with fatigue, yet some part of me still refuses to heed the signs. I ride the rush of adrenaline, feeling wired as a coiled up spring.

So I keep on keeping on, persuading myself that this time I will ride the waves without them crashing me to the ocean floor. Foolish? You bet. Those things we long to press on with can instead become a steamroller flattening us to ground. 

It makes me wonder: Are we so desirous of being busy, connected and 'out there' that fear of missing out persuades us to be unwise?

I know I am, more often than is helpful. When I do yield to rest, I sense God sighing with relief as I finally listen to Him.

God won't force us to slow down; He urges us to yield to His ways and picks us up when we fall. And He provides all the rest, ease and peace we crave inside. 

Here's the thing: We can relax into rest with Him any time; we don't have to wait to be sick before we surrender.

God's love stretches toward us with infinite patience, complete acceptance and tender compassion.

If we fail to rest fully we will flounder and falter:
  • Our energy, drive and creativity will stall
  • Our joy will diminish
  • Our stress levels will rise
  • Our hope will be harder to hold onto
  • Our hearts will become heavy and burdened
The irony of resisting rest is that when I eventually do yield, God tends to speak to me most in moments of surrender and whispers solace to my soul - as in the words below. I hope and pray they will speak to you too...

Prayer Whisper: Release and Rest

"In rest and repentance lies your strength. In surrender to Me you find your true significance. 

Time may be of the essence, but I stand beyond its confines.

Have you considered that I also wrote eternity into your heart so you would seek Me with an open mind and embrace My love to infinity?

When you resist rest, you resist opportunity to hear from Me in the quiet corners of your day. Unless you can release the drive and desire to succeed into My hands, you will wear yourself out in circles of comparison and sink into ditches of discouragement.

Come and rest those ambitions, dreams, hopes and plans as you yield them to Me. I am the One who will exalt you in due time when you humble yourself before Me. It is My greatest desire for you to live in daily dependence on Me.

Come closer. Relax your hold on life and allow Me to carry you as I also keep all things safe. Here you will find deeper rest and peace. Trust all your cares and concerns are safe in My capable hands.

I know what you can bear and what is too heavy for you to carry. Seek My face at intervals throughout your day. I made you and I will sustain you."

Resting can feel counter-intuitive and counter-cultural, but inspiration flourishes when we take a breather, have a change of scenery or just stop for a while, sip coffee and watch the world go by.

Does fear of missing out or losing the creative flow stop you from resting?

Do you resist or yield gratefully to rest?

Joy Lenton is a grateful grace dweller, contemplative Christian writer, poet and blogger, author of 'Seeking Solace: Discovering grace in life's hard places'

She enjoys encouraging others on their journey of life and faith at her blogs wordsofjoy.me and poetryjoy.com as she seeks to discover the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal. You can connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for this - it is something God has been talking to me about since before Christmas, but I still don't listen that often! Have started off this week feeling exhausted (partly my own fault for not going to bed earlier last night, but also my son woke me in the night) so I am trying to listen to His reminder today. Beautifully written - I shall be referring back to this :)

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    1. I do sympathise, Claire. God is constantly whispering this message to my wayward heart! Listening to it and acting on it are another matter entirely. Rest for me frequently involves retiring to a darkened bedroom for hours in order to recoup some needful strength and energy.
      Maybe it's human nature to want to press on with things? I hope and pray you will be able to yield to rest, whatever that looks like for you. Pulling back for a while usually gives us a fresh perspective, if not a way to take a break and become refuelled and refreshed.

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  2. Thank you for this. It is a lesson I need to learn. We cause ourselves so much unnecessary pain and anxiety when webdont heed his command to rest in Him.

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    1. Me too! The words I write have a way of coming back to bite me. I agree with what you say here, Lynda. You'd think that we would learn not to "cause ourselves so much unnecessary pain and anxiety" and heed the call to rest. Without adequate rest we fail to function as God intends us to.

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  3. Thank you for this. It is a lesson I need to learn. We cause ourselves so much unnecessary pain and anxiety when webdont heed his command to rest in Him.

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  4. Hi dear Joy. That flat-out fatigue can really make it hard, can't it? I went to a baby shower for my grand-daughter on Saturday morning. You would think it wouldn't be so tiring just to sit there, but I was so tired and foggy-brained. It still lingers today. It's hard for me, too, not to keep pushing myself past my physical limits and then suffer for it. I long, as you say, to relax my hold on "doing" and just allow myself to be carried by Jesus. To rest physically, but also emotionally and spiritually in Him. May He give you rest in every way, my friend! Hugs!

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    1. Hi Trudy. Thanks for following me over here and for your prayers. I really appreciate it. But I am sorry to hear how exhausted you have been recently. And I empathise and sympathise with the way seemingly small exertions can leave us flat-out with fatigue for some time after the events themselves. May you be able to rest more fully, recover some needful energy and strength and be refreshed in every way. Thinking of you. Blessings and hugs! Xx

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  5. Thanks, Joy. I have to keep reminding myself that my word for this year is Rest. I am still busy, but life is about balance, too. There is a saying that we are human beings, not human doings. All the same, we often try to keep busy, when it would be better to take a break. Sue

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    1. Sue, it was just the same for me last year when 'rest' was the given word. I'd hoped for something dynamic but God was clearly saying rest was (and still is) a top priority. Not only physical rest, but resting on His promises, timing and provision as well. Yes, "life is about balance" and that can be tricky to achieve at times. May you be enabled to take the breaks you need, given peace in the pulling back and deep soul rest of every kind as you learn how to let go and let God. Bless you, friend. x

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  6. I hear the call to quiet and rest all the time, feel the pull to be with my Jesus so He can minister to my soul. The 'how-to' is hard, but I'm grateful the Holy Spirit keeps the want-to there....great post!

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    1. Jody, even hearing it is a huge help, isn't it? Because our busy souls receive a gracious reminder of its importance. But the 'how to' is definitely hard to do! I hope and pray that heeding the call to rest will become easier for you, friend. Thank you so much for following me over here. Bless you. :)

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