Stress-A-Rest

Have you ever noticed that preparing and returning from time off is stressful? We are so busy and full that when it comes time to take a break, jet away on vacation, or simply have a real day off, we can barely handle the prep!

Have you ever experienced this? You plan an amazing two-week getaway, but the preparation for departure threatens to ruin your escape. You can’t wait for the Christmas break, but the shopping trips and baking list overshadow any hope for relief.

It might be easier to not go away, or take a break or stop doing. As I prepare for an extended time away, God has been reminding me that in His stillness I always have the time. God gives everyone enough time to do what he needs us to do.

I can see the infomercial now – Stress-A-Rest. Guaranteed to arrest your stress! Simply drink one 5-ounce shot each night before bed and your stress melts away while you sleep.

What?

In the real world (where we live, remember?) try this instead:

  1. Be Still. Seriously, take time to actually sit still and be quiet. Take your thoughts captive and be reminded who God is and how deeply he loves you.
  2. Keep Still. As you go through the day-to-day ask God for a deep, inner stillness that is found in knowing God is in control no matter how much Fox News or MSNBC tell you otherwise.
  3. Look Around. Out of this resting and stillness in the midst of stress; look up! Look up, look around; see the people around you and the power of the moment. In all our preparation, planning and looking ahead we can miss the great moments right in front of us.

Today I spent a few (painful) moments at the mall for some Christmas shopping. I walked in the door and there was a dad on his Bluetooth talking up a storm. As I grew closer I could hear this was an intense discussion surrounding Christmas shopping. Moving past, I noticed a small boy, his son, pleading for his hand so they could go to the play area. The boy was ignored. The dad made his choice and missed a moment.

Do we want the right present or do we want to be present?

Rest may not be found in the elimination of stress but in the ability to let go of it and be present in the moment.

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