Worried Work and Real Rest

For me, one of the most important parts of my days is the time before anyone else in my house is awake, that I spend in the dark and quiet, journaling prayers to God. Just to be clear, these aren’t fancy formulated prayers – some days God even gets my to do lists before I settle in to talk about what’s really going on inside of me. This prayer is more of the stream of consciousness variety – taking a quiet moment to reflect on this life and what God is up to in it – in me – so that life doesn’t pass me by.

When I carve out that time regularly, everything is better. I’m less anxious. I’m more centered. I’m more patient with my kids. I’m more connected to the Spirit, so work – creativity – flow so much easier. There is more peace in my life – even if life is complete and utter chaos (which, let’s be honest, in my world it often is – it’s just the way us Lozano’s roll). I can go with the flow, roll with the punches so much easier. My quality of life skyrockets when I take time to spend with my God each morning.

So the crazy thing is, that it still, too often, is the first thing to go when life gets busy. This Lent, as I was putting together devotions each day to encourage other people (i.e. you :)) to take this ever important time – I stopped taking it for myself. And I FELT it. In a matter of days, I watched patterns of health and wholeness unravel. And just like when stitches unravel – the unraveling happens fast and quickly leaves me feeling like I am falling apart.

Post-Holy Week, I’ve come back to the practice and just a week later, I feel so much better – more whole – than I did without it. In addition to the stream of consciousness journaling, I try to read a Psalm or portion of a Psalm each morning – listening in those ancient words for the Word God has for me that day. These were today’s words…

Lesson 1 (which I have learned the hard way a few 100 times in my 38 years): Our work, without God in the middle of it, without the Spirit running through it, doesn’t amount to what it could be, should we invite God into the center of our lives.

Lesson 2: It’s useless to anxiously work our fingers to the bone – to rise early, go to bed late – filling our days with worried work. God delights in giving us, the ones God loves, rest. Real rest. When we’re rested – our work isn’t worried and it comes to us easier. We need rest. Even God needed rest after six days of work. Which is why he so enjoys giving rest to us – for our God knows what we need and our God loves us and our God wants what is best for us.

So…some questions for you to think about on this rainy Tuesday…

How might you create some room for the Spirit, some room for God, in your life this week? The Spirit longs to MOVE in us, if we would just create a little space for her – give her a little room.

How might you let God, the God who loves you, give you some rest this week? He loves you. He wants what’s best for you. He enjoys giving you what you need. And quite frankly, he needs you to be doing good work (not worried, useless work) in this broken world he also loves so much.

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