I carried my 3 year old son into the bank and walked up to the teller. “Hello”, she said to us. Shyly, my son put his head down on my shoulder. The bank teller and I chatted as I finished my banking business. Leaving her window, my son commented, “I don’t like her.”
“It’s not that you don’t like her,” I tried to explain; “you just don’t know her.” I suggested the next time he’s around someone he doesn’t know, instead of saying, “I don’t like you”, he should say, “I don’t know you.”
Later that day, I told my son it was naptime. He did NOT want to take a nap and was very upset with me. As I laid him down with his blanket, he looked up at me and in a very firm voice he said, “I…. don’t…. know…. you.” I knew he meant, “I don’t like you!”, but he was doing his best to remember the new lesson he had learned at the bank.
It’s easy to spot a tired child. They act cranky or short tempered or sassy. They cry easily. They become hyperactive or sluggish. They just need a nap!
Do we spot it in ourselves? We wear out. Rushing is a habit. As a young mom, my kids heard the phrase “hurry up” more than any other. We pack our schedules full. Noise is everywhere. Distractions are endless. ‘To Do’ lists never get done. There’s pressure and stress. Our nerves get stretched tight and then….snap! My next book is going to be called, “I thought I needed a divorce, but I just needed a nap!” It’s funny, but there’s a lot of truth there.
We know we need rest….but it’s not high on the list. Even if I take time to rest, my brain can be going a mile a minute. Fear robs sleep. I can’t rest if I have to be in control. I can’t rest if I believe ‘it’s all up to me’. I can’t rest if I am worried about tomorrow.
“HE MAKES ME LIE DOWN In green pastures…..” Psalm 23
Just like I made my son lie down and take a nap, God – as my parent – says He makes me lie down in green pastures. He designed me – body and mind – to require rest in order to function right. He also knows it’s hard for me to rest when life gets busy and stressful.
God welcomes me to come to Him when my burdens are heavy and He will give me rest. Rest takes a decision to stop rushing. Rest takes handing my worries to Him. Rest takes saying ‘no’ to busyness. Rest takes deciding to face each day with peace and joy. Rest requires trusting God even when I don’t know what tomorrow holds. Rest takes practice.
Sue is the author of Grandma Sue’s Bible Adventures in Rhyme, and has her own blog.