Today was a soft day.
Work was busy. There was a push to complete tasks on time.
Yet, I was at rest. One of those rare, gentle days when I dwelt on being, not doing.
It’s taken me this long – 47 years – to grasp the power of “be.”
We always have something to do. Work, household chores, personal commitments and even play involve a level of doing. Our problem lies in how we approach necessary tasks; we stress about things we can’t control. We place unrealistic time constraints on ourselves. We try to live up to the expectations of others. In short, we make required tasks more traumatic than they need be.
In my past, I have wasted so much time and energy on things I can’t control. Anxiety. Insomnia. An inability to control emotion. At one point, I worried myself into a nervous breakdown. All for something I had no control over.
Twenty or so years ago, I joined a writer’s guild at my church. On the night of our first meeting we exchanged email addresses and one man’s address was restisaweapon@… Rest is a weapon. The notion that willfully letting go and letting God take over could be an offense was such a powerful concept. And for someone trapped by anxiety like me, it made so much sense. Unfortunately, I was years away from putting this into practice.
More recently, I started to observe the conduct of those I looked up to – respected. Amidst any trouble, they walked with grace. Never stopping what they had to do, but living with absolute trust. I longed for their confidence. Their assurance that no matter the circumstance, God was in control. I began to pray for this kind of peace; this shalom.
I believe these prayers have brought me to a day like today. When I should feel pressure – important things needed to be done! Yet, I don’t. A deep transformation is occurring – one which is changing my reactions – from anxiety to rest.
I thank you for your faithfulness to me. I thank you for softening my heart. For helping me to rest in each moment. I’m beginning to understand the vast power of a gentle spirit. Make Your concerns my concerns. Continue to place people of strength, virtue and obedience in my life. Remind me daily of your plan for me which you formed before the beginning of creation. Transform me, mold me, use me. In Your holy name. Amen.