I messed up last week. I was sitting in my Research Methods class trying to understand terminology that makes my head hurt. I had been at school since eight thirty that morning and it was pushing 7:00 p.m. I was fighting my second bout of an irritating cough, the first having felled me on Christmas Day. I. So. Don’t. Have. Time. for more sickness. I felt ragged, like someone had wrung me out and then tossed me aside, like a limp, damp dish cloth.
I saw the Voxer message come through on my phone during class and my heart sank. It dawned on me even before I heard her beautiful, grace-filled voice on the message I had missed my deadline.
I don’t like missing deadlines. How could I have let this happen?
Of course grace abounds. Of course my friend is kindness and understanding as she extends a do-over, which I gratefully and humbly accept.
All the way home from school I try and go back in my brain to figure out how I dropped the ball? In my mind I run over my endless “to-do” lists. My heart begins to beat a little faster and I can feel the anxiety pulsing in my head.
Before I know it, all the streetlights and headlights start swimming through my tear-filled eyes. They come slowly–the tears– just a quiet weeping as the exhaustion I’m feeling finally is released in a wet and soggy mess. As I’m blinking back the tears, because weeping and driving are not a good combination, I can feel the breath of a whisper in my soul.
It comes like a soothing and even now as I type this memory here I can feel the peace and the tears of that moment all over again. He says it again, the gentlest of caresses, I can almost feel His lips against the curve of my ear – like a mother soothing her child…
“Daughter, I am with you.”
Once again, I am undone as He continues to remind me that I am His and that He loves me more than I could possibly imagine.
As I continue to drive home I let Him wash over me with His words, the promises I seem to have lost sight of during my busy. He reminds me that pleasing Him does not come in the form of how many things I cross off my to-do list, or through my GPA. He reminds me that He created me to commune with Him and with others.
“Daughter, I am with you and I have given you a gift. It has nothing to do with your abilities, or your talents. This gift I have for you is far greater than anything you could ever accomplish.”
I remember then, I had just read it earlier in the week. In fact I had even sent my friend a message telling her about the scripture I had found and how I would be writing about it in this space.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones – Psalm 127:2 NLT
It dawned on me then, I had pushed myself beyond my limits. I had bought into the lie that rest is a luxury. Rest is only something that I could accept when I had ticked everything on my to-do list. There I was trying desperately to tick off each item as they spun by me at dizzying speeds.
In my busyness I not only succumbed to the myth of scarcity ( i.e. there is not enough time in the world), I also isolated myself from those God had placed in my path to revive and rejuvenate my soul. I lost sight of how the gift of rest can actually lead us to commit the most bravest acts of hospitality.
Rest is God’s gift to us. It’s the hospitality our souls need in order to be aware of how God is moving in our communities. When we drive ourselves to the brink with tasks our souls dim.
How can we be like the city on the hill, its light shining brightly, when we don’t partake of the gift of rest?
Slow down my friend and bravely enter the rest. Allow God to soothe you, to commune with you. Be still Children of the King and find your light in the arms of His embrace. Be consumed by His peace so you can love others wildly and bravely.