Jeanne Guyons a 17th century author wrote, “bees can only draw juice from the flowers by resting on them not by flying around them”. That resonates with me as I believe in this modern age we feel guilty if we aren’t buzzing around, flitering from one activity to another. Most people can’t even put down their phone long enough to look up for a face to face conversation. It is a joke in the media how people stare at their phones, constantly checking social media or texting without knowing what is going on around them. A bee can not draw juice from the flower unless he rests on the flower.
We must learn to rest. I believe we need to build rest into our lives. Why do I use the word “build”? I use that word because it must be on purpose and you must choose to make time to rest. You may ask what does rest look like, what does it really mean to rest?R & R or rest and relaxation is more than just sleep. I am talking about stepping away from the serious parts of life, step back and have some fun. Get out and take a hike, take a day trip, or dance in the living room with your 6 year old. We must rest our minds from the crazy days. We must teach our children to yes, work hard for your dreams and goals but don’t lose the play and certainly don’t forget to rest. Learn to be with your loved ones. Something I learned from Tommy Barnett, a pastor in Phoenix, Arizona was to be 100% where ever you are. Give whatever you are doing, your complete attention. He said if he was at his boys ball game then he was 100% there. Then when he walked away if he took a call in his car then he was 100% with that person. He had 1000’s in his congregation but when he saw you, he always made you feel like you were the most important person. That was because he learned to be present 100% at that moment. That is a huge lesson and a lesson in rest. We should learn to be 100% at work, then walk away and be 100% with our family at dinner. Have you ever had coffee with a friend and walked away thinking I just feel so good right now? That’s rest. Did you ever play a silly game with your kids or grandkids, and laughed and had a silly good time? That’s rest. Did you ever ride your bike and even though you were sweating you thought I feel great? Do you sit in church and think, yes this is what I needed? Or quietly sit before the Lord and even though you didn’t say a word you feel fulfilled and loved? Rest and relaxation can be different things for different people. So what qualify’s as rest and relaxation?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary says this:
- a place for resting or lodging
- peace of mind or spirit
- a rhythmic silence in music (2) : a character representing such a silence b : a brief pause in reading
- something used for support
resting or reposing especially in sleep or death
- quiescent, motionless
At this time let’s concentrate on the definitions “Peace of mind or spirit” and “free of anxieties”. So in those definitions you see that what brings you to that state of being where you have peace and have released anxieties, that is rest. But let’s remember it is a choice. You must lay down the stress and enjoy the moment, then you will find peace. You know me, I believe in laying the stress, anxiety, troubles and cares on Jesus. In fact I love the verse in the Bible that says Cast all your cares on Him, 1 Peter 5:7, the Amplified Bible says it like this “Roll all your cares, your anxieties, your worries and all your concerns, once and once and for all on Him, for He cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully”. Ok did that just bring your spirit some rest? It does mine. And what I wanted to bring attention to is the “roll your cares…” When I think of rolling I think of a ball. And when you roll a ball you actually have to let go of the ball before it will roll. You must roll it, by letting it go and give all the junk that you are going through, away and let God catch it. And He does, He catches the stuff, the anxiety, cares, worries, concerns and the mess of life and He does it because He cares deeply for you. That is cool. That brings rest. But again you must choose to roll them, choose to let Him take them, you must choose to walk away from them. You might have to do it 50 times a day but you need rest. Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book Switch on Your Brain says that whatever you think about the most will grow and it creates a cycle because what you have thought about has gone into your subconscious and becomes an physical thought. Read her book if you want to know more, it is fascinating and shows how we must choose what we think about. You must let go of worry and stress and take conscious breaks and rest. The more you think about those problems the bigger they become and your body will suffer because of it. God created the universe in 6 days and on the 7th day He rested. Did He need the rest? I don’t think so, I think He gave us an example to follow. In fact Jordan S. Rubin N.M.D., Ph.D speaks of taking a rest in his book The Maker’s Diet. He says every 7th day we should take a rest from physical labor and mental labor. He says in his book that mental labor is proven to be more exerting and taxing on the adrenal system and the whole body then even physical labor. As you can tell it is important to take time to rest. Our bodies struggle with the amount of stress that we all live with in this modern age. Children are struggling with stress. As adults we need to make the choice to build rest into our lives and become good examples.
Learn to turn off the TV, the computer, your phone. Learn to build in fun time, play time, time that your mind can rest. Learn to get good restorative sleep. You must take time to rest. When you rest you will be more productive in every area of your life. If you spend some time resting you just might get more juice out of life and out of your creative abilities then when you are flying all around. Try it and see if you will be like the bee, more productive after some R & R time.