From the YMI Director: Rest Amidst the Busy
As I write this article and gaze out my office window, it feels like spring has finally sprung and left winter behind. It’s a beautifully sunny day in the 70s, the breeze is dancing with the tree limbs outside, and the little green sprouts are emerging from the ground. I even hear the birds calling to one another, intermixed with the dulcet tones from the hallway, of children arriving for pre-school. Spring is a beautiful time.
Spring is also a busy time. I was commiserating with a church member the other day about this; we both lamented about how busy the month of May can be, in both church life and in school calendars. My own calendar bears this out, and I imagine yours does, too. I have to-dos that serve to both wrap up the current school year, and plan ahead for the fall at the same time.
It can be easy to let the calendar wreak havoc on our emotional well-being. I imagine we’re all guilty of becoming anxious as we look at all we have to do.
But for now, in this particularly moment, I’m listening to the birds. (I even paused in my typing to listen.) As I duck and weave in between meetings and to-dos, I’ve developed a routine of interspersing them with “quiet moments.” Do you do this too? Quiet moments are my spirit’s superfood. They charge me up and keep me going.
Here’s how it works for me: If I have ten minutes in between meetings or appointments, I take at least a couple of them to breathe. To look out a window. To pray. To be still. To do a quick inventory of my emotionality, honoring (and sometimes letting go of) the feelings I may be carrying from the previous encounter, so that I can be prepared for the next one. It’s a time of decompression, and a time of reminding me that, even in the midst of the rush, I’m still me. And I’m still God’s. It’s a mini-Sabbath of sorts, when I allow the world to spin without me.
If this is a known exercise for you, kudos to you! If it’s a new idea, I encourage you to give it a try, even if just for a day or two. It helps us live life in a more thoughtful, intentional sort of way. I hope you find it restorative. (And if you need some pointers on this, check out this video from the Rev. Dr. Nathan Stucky here on rest as resistance.)
As spring leads into summer, beloved of God, I wish you every blessing. You are loved, not for how busy you are, but for who you are. Your work output, while certainly important, is less so than your personhood. May we all remember that in the season to come, no matter how full the calendar becomes.
On the journey with you,