As we take on a new year, there are some challenges I want to present to you over the next few days, specifically in the form of behavior patterns that I think will be helpful as you continue to press towards your dreams and goals. You see, in order to truly allow God to take the helm of our lives, we have to let go of the things that are holding onto us. I want to share five things that have really helped me to do this in my own walk with Jesus; the first one is simply to intentionally rest.
In general, Americans don’t do well at resting, and typically when we try to relax, we still find a way to be busy. Even though we’re not necessarily doing anything productive, we stay in motion. This is why rest has to be intentional. I recently had a little break, and with Hannah and the kids gone, I had the house to myself. Not really knowing what to do, I went into my office and immediately got on Facebook, then on Twitter, then on Instagram, and then I checked my email. As if once wasn’t enough, I ended up checking all of my social media a second time — and then I realized I needed to do something different. I stopped and asked myself what I was doing and I came to the conclusion that for an entire 30 minutes, I was staying busy doing nothing! That’s when I changed course and endeavored to intentionally create space to rest. I left the computer and started a fire in the fireplace and had a cup of tea. Then I challenged myself to take note of how long I would be able to go without wanting to reach for my phone, which I purposefully left upstairs. Interestingly, it was only about 10 minutes until I had the urge to grab it, but I resisted. Instead, I continued to sit there, drink my tea, and I began to think about life and to pray for Hannah, my kids, for you, and for my church. Although it was hard work to not waste energy with busy nothingness, it taught me that with intentionality, it is totally possible!
Friend, I want to encourage you to disconnect from your devices and develop the habit of resting on purpose. When you have free time, clear your mind rather than filling it with useless information; force yourself to slow down and pursue the things of God. Set your imagination free and take those moments to ponder, meditate, and pray. As you do, I promise that you will end up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, and in turn, this year will be even better than last!