In front of me is a book I am looking forward to reading later tonight, titled Working from a Place of Rest, by Tony Horsfall who I had the pleasure of meeting and learning from yesterday. So here's a question for you: Do you work out of rest or rest out of work?
I probably tend towards the latter. I like to get a sense of completion, of work well done, before I allow myself to properly rest. I can take breaks quite easily, a quick breather, a cup of tea, and sometimes hours or even days of distraction and procrastination. But I never really allow myself to rest – physically, mentally, wholeheartedly – until I get that sense of satisfaction that a good chunk of work is complete, that a milestone has been reached.
Well that’s my tendency.
The dominant theme of my life at the moment is motherhood, and that's something of a long haul project made up of many little things. In themselves, changing a nappy, preparing a meal, wiping a nose, playing a game, are all small manageable jobs, but often they come thick and fast, in a continual stream. I found that waiting for the opportunity to rest once all these jobs are finished, is a bit like waiting on the wrong platform for a train – you know it’s around here somewhere, but you can’t quite see it and eventually you get the feeling it’s probably left the station.
Rather than look for justified times to rest – and eventually being forced to – I’m trying instead to find a rhythm of rest, let my feet feel its way into a dance rather than a marathon. Sometimes the dance is fast and furious, other times slow, but there’s always an underlying rhythm.
Like the seventh day of rest for example – I do think there’s something in that, but my day isn’t Sunday. Sundays are wonderful, full of life and activity, God, friends and family, and it also tends to be one of my busiest days. Instead I’m experimenting with Friday as my day of rest and recharge, ready to start my week with the weekend, have the peak of my energy for my family, then my business and other commitments, ending the week with Thursday, my day of personal input and growth at the Leadership and Discipleship course that I’m on this year.
My day of rest is quite active and I still have my responsibilities of school runs and caring for my 11 month old daughter. But my attitude is one of rest. I have very little planned or set in stone. I usually go to a church group for some light spiritual refreshment – to hear from God and soak up his presence rather than intense study or striving. Then stop off for lunch at the cafe, with the company of whoever fancies joining me, then maybe meet a friend, do some leisurely shopping or simply have a slow lazy afternoon in with my daughter.
I’m still learning the dance and getting a feel for the rhythm, and I have to say, so far I think I quite like it.
What about you? What’s your rhythm of rest?