Lately I’ve been consumed by a pursuit for rest. It’s a recurrent theme in my mind (and probably on this blog as well). But if you’re on a pursuit of rest as well, you might want to make sure you’re not sabotaging that quest yourself, because when it comes to finding rest, I’ve discovered that, just like the old adage says, “I am my own worst enemy.”
Start by imagining examples of what a restful scenario might feel like. Perhaps it’s sitting by the window with a cup of something hot. Maybe it’s a quiet walk on a fall afternoon. It might even be watching your kids at play without worrying about anything else.
But what do our attempts at rest often look like? Checking our texts and emails on our phones while our kids play in the background. Sitting on the couch watching another episode on Netflix. Browsing aimlessly online. And when we finish these things, we don’t feel any better. Instead, we wonder why we’re not rested.
Just the other night my wife pointed out that we both have the bad habit of sitting at night watching a show on Netflix while at the same time attempting to play a game on our iPods. It’s no wonder we feel exhausted when we go to bed. We’ve twisted our rest into something else that might look similar but is in fact the exact opposite. As a society we are creating our own unrest.
Perhaps the first step to finding rest is disconnecting for a while. It’s hard at first. I’ve found that reading, which I loved doing as a child, has become more difficult as my focus is fractured everywhere. Which tells me that it’s something I need to keep working at it, until it changes from challenge to joy.
When you sit and consider what your life is now and what you wish it to be, you’ll find that point in your life where you’ve created unrest in an attempt to find the opposite. Take the first step today and do something different. Find what you need to do right now to find your rest for the future.