Breaking the Rhythm of Rush
I think its fair to say I’m a pretty much a type-A person. While I’m not the most driven person, I definitely push myself to accomplish a lot. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does require a balance of quiet and solitude. For me, a filled schedule is much easier and more comfortable than an empty one. The problem is my soul, as is yours, is designed to require times of rest. For many this is known as a Sabbath day. Growing up and even in my adulthood, this has been a mysterious and illusive word.
As much as my personality would love to be busy, my soul craves times of solitude and retreat. So, we packed up and headed to a small lake community in east Texas.
From the moment we arrived, I planned my escape. This sounds pretty bad to be wishing I was back in the grind instead of being present with my family and enjoying some time off. But, its true. I’m realizing how much I’ve become addicted to the rush, to the busyness. Almost to the point of it being a drug.
During my time in a cabin, I wrote these statements in my journal: I’m having some serious withdraws here. Looking for wi-fi spots like a mad woman, attempting to access my email, and jonesing for some Facebook news feeds. I’m craving busyness, its so hard to simply be still and in the quiet. On top of the withdrawals, I’m faced with feelings of guilt. Statements pop into my mind like, I should be doing (insert list of tasks) or I feel so lazy.
I am realizing how much my identity is tied up in my performance and how much I can produce. Allie Worthington says, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”
Here are some ways I’ve challenged myself to break the rhythm of rush…I wonder if you need to consider breaking your rhythms of rush as well.
Play isn’t just for fun. Play is a time that bonds family allowing parents and kids to be on the same playing field. Literally. Play provides a space to not take ourselves too seriously. I know I take myself oh so serious. It really does feel good, to take off the masks, put aside the agendas and planners and simply be present and engaged in life.
Rest isn’t lazy, its necessary to in order to hit the reset button and recalibrate focus. Our mornings are spent in prayer, bible reading and discussing life. No clock or schedule dictates our happenings. We eat when hungry and go to bed when tired. Our society encourages, if not demands our allegiance to busyness. Rest is an antidote to busyness. I use the word antidote intentionally because busyness is a poison eroding peace in the human heart. We can tolerate only so much activity before our body requires rest.
Going for walks and experiencing nature: Something amazing happens when you step out of internet range. Its like the air is clearer and I can literally breath deeper, fuller breaths. We were made to inhabit the earth. A part of this inhabiting is getting outdoors and experiencing the wonder of God’s creation.
We certainly weren’t climbing Mount Everest, but this simple trail provided opportunities for discussions to be had, like “why did God create poison ivy.” Our hearts long for adventure, getting into nature and exploring reconnects us with a part of ourselves.
Reconnecting – Creating rich connections requires an investment of time and energy. Creating intentional opportunities for communication and community to occur are vital in the health of relationships. Our relationships are anemic and weak because we don’t spend enough time connecting with others. Too many often I hear myself say, sorry I don’t have time to play, I don’t have time to talk, etc. My mind races with things to do. Even when I do spend time with those I love, my mind reals with things I need to be doing.
Cultivating the intention of presentness – Learning to be present is one of the toughest disciplines. My mind wants to live in the future, leading my heart to live in fear. Being present counteracts both of these because it says, “this is the only moment I’ve got. I might as well enjoy it, be intentional and live it to the fullest.” My greatest fear is that I would have squandered away precious moments from loving my husband and children well. That I would be so concerned about my own comfort or success that I missed the opportunity to be there, really be there for them.
So, I’m working on it. For me, it’s an imperfect progress, not perfection, I’m seeking after. I’m missing the rush less and less. I actually enjoy the silence (except for the noises provided by natures’s soundtrack). My hope is that I’ll be able to take these practices and apply them to my everyday life. That I’ll be able to play, reset, experience nature, and be present daily. And if I can’t do it daily, then at least once a week.
Blessings to you,