Why is it so hard for us to relax? Last Sunday, going into the day, I decided that it would be a day of rest, a Sabbath, which is hard to do with two kids in the house, especially when one of them is a toddler. But I had decided that all chores could wait til Monday… and then I made banana bread.
The dishes in the sink started talking to me, fussing at me and telling me how dirty they were and I had to wash them.
The basket of laundry in my room had to wait til Monday, maybe even Tuesday… or maybe after the girls went to bed.
Went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and cleaned up the counter while I was in there.
And then, of course, there’s the continuous cleaning up after my children’s eating habits so that I can hopefully keep critters and insects at bay. It’s always just one thing after another, isn’t it? It seems my hands always find something to do. I long for rest, even dream about it, but it often seems impossible.
I’ve been doing a bible study on spiritual disciplines, nearly through it completely now. One of the lessons was about the Sabbath and how important it is for us to rest. If we know that it’s important why don’t we make sure we’re setting aside time to rest and recharge, even if it isn’t for an entire day? I know that when I am able to let it all go and just relax, knowing that the world won’t collapse if I set whatever it is aside for awhile, I feel more ready and prepared to take on the next day or week. My body and my mind need a break sometimes.
The lesson suggested that possibly it’s a control issue and that’s why it is so hard for us and all the more necessary that we do it. Perhaps the thought of leaving the dishes in the sink incites our O.C.D. tendencies or just makes us feel as though we’re being lazy, dismissive, not taking care of responsibilities, or just a fear that if we don’t wash them today that tomorrow the amount of dirty dishes will be overwhelming (<—- that’s me!). I think the Sabbath rest is necessary to show us that even when we leave things undone, life still goes on. It doesn’t need us in order to keep moving. It is okay to leave things undone for a few hours.
This is a discipline that I definitely intend to be more intentional with, even if I’m just carving out an hour or two in the evening or morning just to rest, clear my thoughts, put anything that I think needs my immediate attention out of my mind and just rest. Though many times I find that when I do this I actually end up falling asleep, but perhaps that is just what’s needed for the time.