Resting My Way To Heaven

I don’t think my husband understands me. 

I don’t think he knows what it feels like to push myself until I’m ragged just to quiet the whispering-shouting “Not Enough Not Good Enough” voice.  

I wonder if he knows the feeling of starting each day hopeful and ending each day with a blasting awareness of all the failure, what went wrong, what I should’ve said or did or prayed. 

I think my husband’s problem is he likes himself. He tries to take an hour at night for quiet and alone, sometimes working, reading or praying, or watching a show he likes. Sometimes he takes naps and never apologizes for them. He doesn’t feel compelled to answer the phone whenever it rings. He doesn’t obsess over everyone’s opinion of him. 

He works hard. He gives his family, his church and his God everything he’s got. Everything. 

And yet, the strange part is he works harder than me. And he always knows where his keys are. He has time to counsel and study and preach and strategize and administrate, care for the yard, have a tickle fight with John and still not get spitting mad about another bed-wetting at 4am.

How does he do it? He knows how to rest.

He rarely compromises it. He knows how to quiet his heart down. He can hear Holy Spirit whisper his value to him. 

He can work well because he rests well. 

He seems strange to me, and to the rest of the world, who spend most of our days trying to earn our keep. But my hubby knows in his heart what most of us believers know in our heads: he is accepted and loved and good and whole and making a happy God happy right now. Just as he is. 

Dance

We might say we know that, but we don’t believe it. We are still buying our value on the world’s currency. 

About a year ago, I was falling apart again. Sick all the time. Worn and resentful. Failing to say No. The days all blurred together. 

One morning I made myself a drink and say down at the table moments before I left for work. I wondered how much longer I could sustain this pace in this tired body. 

As I sat there, I could almost see my soul looking back at me. Bent over, sunken eyes, worn out, so worn out. My heart filled with compassion for my body and soul, who had been totally neglected in this season of running. I’d been mercilessly beating it, morning to night, requiring more and more. Work faster, work harder, I demanded. What is wrong with you? Why can’t you keep up? Why must you be so high maintenance, body?

But I was starved of sleep and nutrition. I didn’t have what I needed to keep going. My mind said Move but this old vessel had nothing left. The compassion and awareness lasted a few days. Long enough to leave an impression.

Rest is still hard for me though. There is no instant feedback. No positive affirmations.

No one will thank me for resting or mention my awesome resting ability in their blog. Resting will earn no new subscribers to my writing.  Resting does not fold laundry or teach my son the alphabet. It’s so hard to justify it from a productivity perspective.

But the truth is I get to rest. It’s a right I have as God’s adopted daughter. 

I was made to work, and I was made to rest. I cannot do one without the other, or I am out of balance. 

Failing to rest stems from an earning-it mentality. We feel we owe something to someone so we never stop. Because a heart that never rests lives by the Never Enough code. It doesn’t believe it deserves to rest, and so it never will. 

It may take breaks for TV shows or dinner, but it will always be thinking of the next thing it can do to matter. 

Rest is not an activity. It is not merely pausing from labor. It’s not one more thing on our To Do list.

Rest is a state of mind. And you can take it with you. That’s a good thing. 

So let me ask the crazy question we pretend to already know the answer to. What if we already mattered? What if, as my husband believes and Jesus longed to convince us, we are already loved and adored and cherished

I love how Paul talks about it in the first chapter of Ephesians:
 
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. IN LOVE he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV). 

See all those happy love words? We are either loved already (the Gospel of Jesus) or we have to earn love and heaven (every other religion in the world). 

I call myself a Christian so I guess I should start acting like one. I think I’m going to rest my way into heaven. How about you?

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