Why is it so hard to rest? I'm not talking about squeezing in a little sleep at the end of a long day or giving yourself 10 minutes to enjoy your morning coffee while you start mentally calculating all the things you need to get done before you sleep again. I'm talking about real rest—the kind where you forget your to-do list and your in-box altogether and give yourself permission to watch the seagulls do what seagulls do, for no particular reason.
Dave and I are on the last day of a much-needed—no, desperately needed—vacation. And we both arrived in Mississippi exhausted. We come to Cruisin’ the Coast—a ginormous vintage car show/cruise—every year, and normally we both have a list of have-to’s: He has to at least drive through all of the show sites; I have to make it to Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs, which are on opposite ends of the coast and require navigating through unbelievable traffic; we have to do this and we have to do that.
This year, we were just too tired. So we threw out our have-to list. We went to one show site. We spent almost no time in traffic. We watched all the cars go by from the balcony of our hotel room, which had dual views—cars to the left, Gulf to the right. We cooked the food we brought when we felt like it and walked to restaurants when we didn’t. I walked on the beach. He napped. We rested.
People often quote the shoulds and the should-nots in Scripture, but the Bible also addresses basic human needs. From the very beginning—Genesis—there’s a day of rest. There are mentions in the New Testament of Christ making time to get away from the crowds and rest. It’s important, but when I’m not on vacation, I tend to treat rest like a luxury—something I’m getting away with. I’m being lazy and unproductive. But that’s not true. Rest isn’t a luxury but a very real human need, just like the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Maybe I should be packing. But I really need to rest.