Man, what a week this has been. My work email inbox is a war zone. My chores far exceed the time and energy to do them. I feel overwhelmed, and would love to just run away somewhere I can relax.
Can you relate?
Maybe you can relate to one of these things that my head is yelling these days: I need a haircut! I need a massage! I need a pedicure! I need good gym workout! I need a real restaurant meal! I need a vacation!
As I’m ending this really stressful week, I’m thinking about what I can do over the weekend to Just Relax! As I’m thinking, stuck with things that are “shelter-in-place approved,” and honestly beginning to feel a little trapped, I started to see this thing from a different angle.
Here is what has happened. Over the course of living these “best lives” that we talk so much about, we tend to pile on lots of stress. We set expectations for ourselves and others to achieve and excel. There’s nothing really wrong with that, until we start to make achievement an idol for self-worship.
Trying to meet these expectations is exhausting, isn’t it? I find it hard to wind-down, my mind won’t “power down” enough for me to sleep. My body doesn’t carry stress well, and starts to fight back with weapons like high blood-pressure and lowered immunity.
My go-to solution? Spa day!
That’s right- when I start to feel overpowered by all this stress, I start looking for relaxation strategies. Massage, pedicure, working out, whatever it might be.
But what if we had something better? What if we had something that would take away this need for all these relaxation techniques that we’ve come to rely on? Something that would keep us from getting wound up to the breaking point with work and house and relationship and financial stresses?
Yes. You see where I’m going with this.
Jesus said this, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
The world gives us temporary fixes. Spa days, pep talks, venting, sensory deprivation (floating) sessions.
But Jesus gives us peace. We don’t have to work for it or book an expensive appointment or buy any special equipment- He has given it to us. All we have to do is figure out that it’s really there.
It’s a peace that gives us protection against the cares of the world. It’s a peace that challenges us to take up His yoke, letting Him be in control. Once we undertake to live in His peace, the relaxation we seek occurs in the form of rest as we practice solitude, quietness, and other spiritual disciplines.
For me, this peace is about letting go of all these expectations I’ve placed on myself. It’s about understanding His Lordship and Sovereignty. It’s saturating my mind and my spirit with remembrance of His goodness, love, grace, and mercy.
So this weekend, I will seek His peace and His rest. Maybe that’s the thing that all of us need to get through the next days and weeks at home.