I haven’t forgotten about blogging. Far from it. I have been resting, and intend to do a lot more of it, once I get my head round how it is supposed to work. In the meantime I have been working on resting. Not too hard, mind. I’m not fully there yet.
I have found for a very long time that I just don’t have it in me to do nothing. I used to be told at primary school that I had to ‘deep relax’ but I didn’t know what that meant. I just kept going. My thoughts were constant and divergent. I would go on long mental rambles.
Later I harnessed that by studying a bit of philosophy and finding I’d already covered a reasonable amount myself. Odd. I had a lot of trouble sleeping. No – going to sleep. Even now, it doesn’t take much to give me a few hours of thinking to do at night, and I know this is unlikely to improve.
The theme of resting has been coming back to me in various forms over recent weeks and months. I do not want to rest my mind, but my body has been fighting for a break. My emotions too, have been drained by events outside my influence. I have been learning a little about BEING rather than DOING.
Here are some of my conclusions:
1. You never rest fully after becoming a parent, unless you are away from the child (or children) for long enough and are one of the rare people who do not feel guilty about this.
2. There is a difference between Activity and Attitude. You can rest your attitudes (especially negative ones and striving to impress or do well) even when you cannot afford to rest your activity. Which means that responsibility is inevitable, but your reaction to it is your choice.
3. Rest is best when it is a rhythm. Weekly. Monthly. Annually. Built in to the diary, with rest always around the corner. Opportunity to DO of course. But also, critically, opportunity to just BE. Taking that risk to be alone with yourself and God and to listen. It may be something you want to hear. If you are willing to be led, it may be important even if it turns out to be something you don’t think you want to hear.
4. Rest is affected by things outside your control, but you can micro-manage certain aspects of life, such as a few minutes reading something or having a conversation or cup of tea and revel in that, despite everything else.
5. You can be a donkey or an ox about it (Matthew 11:30).
6. Count your blessings. No – seriously. Think about your family, your friendships, your home, your community, your environment, the places you are able to visit, the encouragement you can be to others. Think about the things you enjoy happening, such as good food and drink, laughter, your favourite entertainment, great memories. Engineer some more of these things at a pace that works. Go on – have a barbecue and a few people round who like to laugh!