There are times when I overload my schedule and it starts to show its effects…

I feel groggy, on edge, and not quite myself. My usual upbeat attitude is missing and my nose is barely peaking above the pile of to-do’s. My soul feels dry, like a plant needing water for days, and I can feel it in a lot of the areas of my life.

That’s when I realize I’m drugged with busyness. It’s no one’s fault but mine, a self-inflicted lethargy over my mind, body, and spirit. It’s the virtual bender on my own daily planner that creates this fog in me. It’s the litany of tyrannical urgency that shortens the rest that I take.

The problem is that I love being busy. I love being on-the-go with a full schedule before me. It’s why I’d rather ride a real bike instead of a stationary bike. I’d rather be going somewhere than simply spinning my wheels.

That’s when I know I need to rest. The schedule is still full but I make extra effort to finally downshift my spirit into a slower pace of life in the times in-between. It’s my human attempt to remind my heart and body, “Be still… be still. You don’t have to push the limits of your body, mind, spirit, and schedule. Let off the tempo a bit and simply be.”

God made rest for us. The temptation for me is to underestimate how much rest my mind, body, and spirit need. This is the passage from The Message that sticks with me when God reminds me of the rest I need. This is what helps me snap awake from busyness.

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30

Freely and lightly. Not without burden; not without healthy boundaries. Rest is what keeps our eyes alert and our focus intact when busyness threatens to take control. A real rest is keeping company with our Rabbi and learning rest from the One who created it in the beginning.

May you shake the fog today with clear eyes and may you withdraw from the drug of busyness.