“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you REST.” [Matthew 11:28]
I’ve always loved this passage. It sounds so nice. So calm. So restful. It sounds easy & full of peace & a quick “unloading” as one does when they are putting down the groceries or weights at the gym. It seems so… simple.
But in reality, rest is H A R D.
The other day, I was listening to a podcast that addressed this passage and it reminded me of the very first words: “Come to me…” It’s an active word. A verb meaning to intentionally pursue, engage, move forward. To actively move in a particular direction; to take steps toward someone or something like a toddler learning to walk for the first time. & That takes WORK. & Pursuit. & Patience. & Lots of practice. & This is how we are called to seek out REST… Clumsily. Awkwardly. With perseverance & determination. & With lots and lots of grace.
Building in rhythms of R E S T can be incredibly challenging.
Careers, family life, culture, and societal expectations don’t necessarily applaud rest & renewal. We are encouraged to excel. To be perfect. To achieve ALLLL the things. We are pushed to find the bigger and better in our lives & are constantly bombarded with images of those who “made it big.” Who struck gold. Who found the “secret” and how all the “hard work” was worth it.
You know what I wish people talked about more?
The valleys. The challenges of integrating family and work and culture and people and holidays and all the things this season has waiting for us. I wish people didn’t remind us of the big and great things but of the small things.
I wish we spent more time talking about the small things that helped people not “make it big” but rather do it well.
The small things that helped them along the way. The small decisions to not “do” but to simply “be.” Small things like putting down the phone to engage more fully. Or like soaking in a rainbow or sunset or walk outside. Small things like scrolling less and reading more. Or maybe even the hardest of all “small things”… saying “no.”
See, I honestly believe these “small” decisions and choices is what our life is built upon. The seemingly “small” choices we make everyday. The small prayers & conversations & moments that occur when we look at good & best… and choose best. When we lay aside the “big” agenda for the day. When we put down the “big” expectation for ourselves, careers, & families. & When we look at our seemingly “small” and ordinary life and realize it’s worth and value aren’t tied to the “bigness” of culture or careers or people or affirmation but to the God who created it all.
For me, it’s a reframing. A reframing that shifts our perspective from the big to the small.
So today, here’s my small… REST. Finding (& creating) habits, time, or intentional days centered around stopping. Around being still. & Quiet. A moment… or day focused on simply being filled. Making time, not just for myself (or a really awesome nap), but instead to be intentional. Making time to breathe. To soak in what’s before me without stressing on what’s ahead. Time to embrace the vastness of this creation and the warmth of the sun while on a walk with my daughter.
Could REST be as simple as intentional time to just “be” & allowing that to be enough?
Truthfully, I’m tired of the big. I’m tired of the fame-focused posts. I’m tired of the frenzied “keep up, do more, be better, & look good” marketing I feel so drained by. I’m tired of those “big’s.” & Find myself craving a smaller, simpler way. A way that encourages the “small” & embraces rest & renewal.
& So, my encouragement for you today: do something SMALL.
Something good. Something restful. Something simple that brings joy. Maybe you post about it; maybe you don’t. But let it fill you. Remind you. Strengthen you. Let it offer you peace & rest & comfort as you find your place amongst the “bigness” of this world & our social media saturated culture.