what if I don't need rest?
Hey there! I hope this post finds you well. We’re currently sitting in a cute little cafe writing this on a sunny Saturday afternoon. You know spring is on its way when you can wear shorts and you start sticking to your seat. Amiright?
Last Monday morning I went live on Instagram and chatted about resting and making sure we’re not burning out in this new season. In essence, I said that when we’re over-tired and running ourselves thin it becomes difficult to live out our fullest calling from God. When I am tired, I honestly don’t think straight and find myself contributing less than what is ideal to conversations, classes, meetings and life in general.
Someone brought something great up after the live and I think it’s most certainly worth addressing: what if we don’t feel like we’re doing enough?
I took some time to marinate in this and I had to take a step back to try and see this situation from a bird’s eye-view. I definitely resonate with this person - I often feel like I’m not doing enough too, but that’s also what causes me to over-commit. It’s as if there are two ends to the spectrum: one end of overdoing it and one end of underdoing it.
On this person’s point though - yeah, not doing enough is a real thing. I believe the real reason I had to think so hard about this though (when for many people it’s an obvious conclusion) is because I’ve been in an environment that almost glorifies overcommitment in a very invisible and nearly-natural way. It’s a bit unhealthy.
At my university, student leadership was and still is a HUGE deal…or at least it’s made that way. It’s often a question of “what are you doing next year?” to inquire about someone’s leadership status. I get it - the school wants to encourage university students to learn how to be solid Christian leaders and I think it’s 100% a good thing. But, it also goes too far, and so this is my view point when I approach “rest”. I’ve been taught to say yes, and have a hard time saying no.
I’ve known the overcommitted life for a long time, to a point of sickness. When I write about finding rest, I mean to find it in respect to the environment you’re in. So yes, for people who grow up in this, finding rest might seem like an encouraging thing. For others, who might not feel like opportunity is knocking down the door, or simply they live and work in a place that doesn’t push that same ideal, then rest might seem like an illogical thing. Why would I rest when I feel like I’m not doing enough?
So this is where it boils down to discerning what is right for you. I don’t mean to sound like an inspirational quote or anything, but it truly is different for every person! I’m going to take rest because I feel STRESSED and sick, to the point of exhaustion. If you don’t feel like you’re doing enough, then it’s healthy to analyze you’re situation.
I’ll end on this - I love the idea of filling up our time with things that a. honour God and b. honour what we need in each season and c. fulfill what God has equipped us to do (b&c not necessarily in that order). Our capacities for work and play and social time change from season to season and it can be a reality that we may be directed to work more and rest less. That doesn’t mean you’re not honouring God. The same is true for people who know a day or week or month of down time is much needed.
I hope this provides some clarity, and I’d love to keep the conversation going.