Until a few minutes ago, I could describe the sounds in my house on one hand: 1) snoring dogs 2) the flip-flop and whirl of the washing machine 3) the sound of my colored pencils filling in an intricate design in a coloring book and 4) the occasional, “Mom, look” of my too-big boy designing a new electronic world in an app I wasn’t too sure I wanted to download.
With coffee and colors in hand, I had a few minutes of quiet rest – real rest. The kind of rest in which the quiet almost hurts your ears for a minute while they readjust to what quiet sounds like. The kind of rest in which your brain slowly unfolds. Colored pencils seen to arrange themselves by color as order is restored. A few to-do items surface, but the rest allows you to simply note those and move back into rest itself. Those moments are few for me these days. Are they for you also?
I’ve been working through Exodus with the First 5 app. This week we read Exodus 23. God is giving the Israelites commandments to follow for holy living. These are extensions of the Ten Commandments with which we are so familiar. In verse 14 of Exodus 23, God commands the Israelites to celebrate festivals throughout the year, but just before, in verse 12, He says,
“Six days to do your work, but on the seventh day do not do work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and… [all] may be refreshed.”
The command to rest came before the command to celebrate. The command to rest was to be followed weekly; the command to celebrate was occasional. Please don’t misunderstand and assume that I will only celebrate on occasion, but please also hear me say that rest is required. Refreshment is vital. I was convicted in this: my list will always be there. If I view rest as an award for getting things done, I will never rest. If I rest because it is necessary, I will feel refreshed.
Join me in resting today.
*I’ve really missed writing, perhaps it will not be another five months before I post again. Many thoughts are bubbling to the surface and I hope to get them written soon — thoughts on teaching, on rest, on books to read, and on creative projects. Stay tunes, my sweet friends.*