Doug Creamer column: It’s OK to rest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 9, 2022

By Doug Creamer

On the morning of the 4th of July, I opened Facebook to see the many patriotic pictures that my friends had posted. Most of my friends were posting pictures of family, friends and pets all decked out in red, white and blue. Some people posted videos of fireworks, which were fun to watch.

I was looking forward to my family gathering. Many years ago, my wife and I hosted the family gathering, which included some fun times over at the Faith festival and an afternoon water fight. The water fights always started with squirt guns but ended up with the water hoses. We would all get soaked, but we created memories that will last for a lifetime.

My brother and I are teaching our grand-nephews about water fights. We started this year with squirt guns because the boys are little. The family gathering was great this year, and included delicious food, plenty of laughter and a fireworks display. It is nice to spend some time with family and relax.

It is also nice that for one day we as a country can forget our political differences and celebrate that we are Americans. We are blessed to live in the best country in the world. We are thankful for all the men and women who have served and are serving in our military. We are also thankful for all the police, firefighters and EMS workers who work tirelessly to keep us safe here at home.

The 4th of July afforded me a few days off from work. I know I am only working part-time, but I still enjoy having a few days off. Before the break started I was thinking about what I wanted to get done while I was off. I had a mental list going, but never wrote it down. As I told you recently, I like having lists so I can check things off and get that feeling of accomplishment. The first couple of days off I slept and did very little. I had been burning the candle at both ends and my body just wanted to rest. I tried to get motivated, with few results. I had the opportunity to catch up with a few friends and relished those moments. I did all my regular chores but found myself reading, watching TV and trolling the internet.

I did some small, quiet tasks that have been on my radar. I worked peacefully out in my garden weeding, mulching and replanting where the rabbits and squirrels have eaten and ruined some areas. I can see where I cleaned, straightened and put things away, and it makes me feel good. There is always more to do.

I noticed something the last couple of days of my break. There is this little spark inside. There is a little life that has rekindled. I really can’t explain it. I just know it’s there. I feel ready to engage, ready to get back to teaching. The flame inside is small and it will need to be guarded and fed, but there is something stirring and it feels good. It is a feeling of being refreshed.

I stay busy and on the go. I find it difficult to unplug and slow down. Resting is an important spiritual principle. To be honest, it’s not one I am very good at doing. God worked for six days to create our universe, and then He rested on the seventh day. Jesus sent the crowds away and His disciples across the lake so He could climb the mountain and have some disengaged quiet time with His Father.

Sometimes we can disengage at the beach or while going for a hike in the mountains. Our soul and spirit need times to quietly reflect. We can push ourselves at critical moments and our bodies will help us push through, but then we need to find a way to take a deep breath and rest. Everyone recharges their batteries in different ways. The key is to know yourself and give yourself permission to rest. There will always be a list waiting, but disengaging and resting can help you find renewed energy and creativity.

I encourage you to consider how you get refreshed and then give yourself the permission to do what you need to do to get the rest you require. Working from a place of rest will help you ultimately become more productive. Your mind will work better and your body will cooperate. Invite God into your place of rest and allow His Spirit to infuse yours. Jesus and God both rested. It’s OK for you to rest, too.

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