Making Time for Rest

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feet danglingBy Kathy A. Weckwerth.  As a child, growing up in Southwest Iowa, I spent a lot of time outside amidst the lush green grass, the beautiful butterflies, the fuzzy yellow jacket bees and the bright dragon flies that Mom grew outside the patio. Day after day, I would lazily flit about enjoying summer afternoons.

In our big kitchen with the windows facing the south and sunshine, Mom would crank those old windows open, let the fresh air blow through and invite me to help her bake ginger snaps, or brownies, or homemade pizza. My mother truly could have been the founder of the Food Network as nothing that she served came from boxes or mixes.

I remember making time to practice piano, and dragging my big old lawn chair out to the backyard, guzzling my TAB and soaking in the sun, all while slathered down with baby oil.

Moments would turn into days, days into weeks, and the summer would fly by. As I would make my way back to school, I spent every morning walking the back roads one mile to the school and taking every free moment to make my way to the band room to rest, read, and write music.

As I grew up and had my own children, I was blessed to enjoy being a stay-at-home mother, and loved the days of pushing children on swings, baking, and playing barbies with my three girls.

But life changes and as it does, I was ushered into the Land of Work and became a Director of Worship and now am an Executive Director of a nonprofit, Best Life Ministries.

The summer days arrived with a calendar, as though Summer herself showed up and said, “Here’s your to-do list.”

With an over-the-top list of what I had to do to run the ministry, speak at various events, play the piano for events, Bible studies, newspaper articles, blogging, and the new radio show, I sat down for a quick minute to watch and see if Summer would be ushering out her lovely monarch butterflies as Fall brought in his lovely leaves and cool breezes. A few butterflies visited the grove, but they didn’t stop long to rest.

And then it dawned on me … flittering and fluttering about … busy with this and that and then-some, I was never resting. Instead I, like the butterflies, stopped for a brief moment and then kept on flying. There was no rest.

In scripture, we see that Jesus made a point that we would know He needed rest as we all do. John 4:6 states, “So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting by the well.” and in Matthew 8:24, Jesus is so tired that He is sleeping through a horrific storm at sea, “And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he (Jesus) was asleep.Talk about being tired!

Why are we ashamed to stop working? Why must we continue to prove ourselves through our efforts, through our productivity?

I recently met a woman at a speaking event who admittedly told me that while I was speaking, she was making a list of all of the things she had to do before the day was out and she said, “I want to cry. There is too much to do and too little time.”

With ipads, google drive, and the new iphone, we can do everything … or can we?

As I sit here with my list of to-dos, I realize they will never end … but the sleepy relaxing days of summer, or fall, winter or spring will never arrive if I don’t help usher them in.

I just spotted a butterfly dancing outside my window. I’m leaving the work behind. I’m stepping away from the desk, and I’m heading outdoors to watch the beauty of God’s world.

And then … I might even take a nap.

Rest … it does the body good.

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