"The discipline of rest makes way for creativity."
God has put vision on my heart for a long time, and I've poured over it for years and years. I've seen some of it come to pass, and some of it a distant thought and hopeful destination. It takes time to pour over vision, and allow it to infiltrate into your life.
When I think of rest, it isn't completely inactive. You aren't just lazily lying around, but engaged in listening to the heart. It is an active process to rest. I often say to others (especially artists): "Fight for your rest." It's something even scripture tells us to fight for: "labor into rest." Everything in our western culture shouts at us to "push through" -- "keep moving forward" -- "more, more, more" -- to "achieve" whatever it is we are supposed to "achieve" to be "successful.”
Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't pour into your life's work, but I am saying to ask yourself two questions:
1. What is success (to me)?
2. Am I really experiencing sabbath rest (in work, and in my time of rest)?
I've been thinking about this a lot, and what sabbath rest really is to me. When I think of the most restful days I've ever experienced, I remember no time commitments. No one expecting me to be anywhere, to do anything, to be anything. This could be with other people or completely alone. I also recall not having to be "on" for anything. This ties in with no outside commitments - my only responsibility was to listen to what I needed, and rest. How often are we really doing this? How often are we waking up the next morning truly refreshed? Are we allowing that sabbath rest into other areas of our lives, into our week, and daily schedule?
This is what I hope to achieve in my month off. A time when where I truly rest, abundance comes out of it.
Story time: When I was at the end of creating my dance solo piece for the community concert this last fall, I had come to the end. I wasn't happy with it. It was so incredibly personal, and hard to really communicate what I wanted to say. I reflected back, and remembered I had written the first piece of music (acapella duet) for the first part my solo out of a NAP. So, I decided to just sleep. Turn my mind off and rest. This was hard to do at first until I really let go of my solo and all the "to do's" in my head.
I went to bed that night, woke up completely rested, and made my morning coffee. All the sudden, this sweet little melody popped in my head and I began humming it. At first, I had no idea I was humming, because I normally sing and hum around the house throughout the day. Then, I became conscious of it. It became really specific. I recorded it quickly on my voice memos on my phone, me just singing the melody out. That very melody became the entire violin section of my solo (thanks, Jon!). Everything fell into place, and the solo came out of diligence and hard work after that "ah ha” rest moment. The piece was birthed from a place of rest, and then worked out with diligence and faithfulness.
Rest isn't about being lazy, it is about allowing that rest to propel us forward.
To be fully present. To let go. To breathe. To restore. In rest, you remember. In rest, you restore. In rest, you become. We grow when we rest. (Growing pains… a whole 'nother post!)
My best work as been created from letting go, and resting. It’s amazing what we can learn from ourselves when we do, and what we are truly capable of.
Lay back in the river, the current is steady.
It will take you where you want to go.
Set your sights on things above: whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is pure.
Your meditations will become who you are.