Every year when May comes around and finals are finally over, I find myself overjoyed because I know that ahead of me lies three months of total relaxation. I envision myself laying by the pool everyday, working on my tan, enjoying entire weeks at the beach sipping on tropical drinks with little umbrellas on top, and lots of time in my room reading the stack of books that I've accumulated in the corner over the school year, while a late afternoon thunderstorm rolls through outside my window.
The funny thing is, none of this EVER happens. It's now the end of August and I think I went to the pool maybe five times, I never even saw a beach, and I finished one book this summer. Instead, I spent my days working from eight to five in a cubicle, and any time off that I had I packed it full of spending time with friends and making memories that I'll never forget, but that left very little time for relaxation.
I was tired when I left for the summer, and now I find myself back from the summer, more tired than before. I'm physically exhausted, emotionally exhausted, relationally exhausted, and spiritually exhausted. I wouldn't trade my summer for anything, but I've also begin to notice how vital rest is in my life, especially finding rest in Jesus. The thing is, when I don't rest, I don't just deprive myself of sleep, I deprive myself of Jesus. All summer I felt spiritually dry. I neglected time spent with the only one who can truly satisfy my thirst and why? Because I was too busy, simply being busy. The more I avoided time with Jesus and the more I held him at arms length, the more exhausted I felt. It was a snowballing cycle that left me in a place I didn't want to be.
As I enter into my senior year of college after yet another physically and spiritually exhausting summer I want to make sure that the busyness of life and the overwhelming feeling of never being able to relax doesn't separate me from Christ. Jesus is my ultimate resting place. He is the only one that can restore my soul. The words from Psalm 23 remind me of that.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. // Psalm 23: 1-2
Here are three ways that I plan to find rest with Christ amidst all the craziness of my life this year!
1. Wake Up An Hour Early
It's the oldest trick in the book, but having that time with Jesus, a cup of coffee, and your bible, right at the start of your day sets a precedence for what the rest of your day will look and feel like.
2. Take Time To Enjoy People Who Listen
Do you have that one friend who you can go grab coffee with and just talk about life with? Find time to be with that person! Talk about what's happening in your life (your anxieties, worries, joys, concerns, celebrations, and stories). Listen to what's happening in their life. Then pray for one another and enjoy good coffee and time spent together.
3. Write, Write, Write!
You don't have to be a good writer or even enjoy writing, but spend some time writing down what's going on inside your head and your heart. Putting those things on paper helps to process and release some of the anxiety and stress you probably are keeping bottled up inside. You'll probably surprise yourself with what a pen and paper can reveal and how often times, we tangibly hear God's voice through writing.