“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Genesis 2:2
I am sitting in my egg chair listening to the sounds of summer. The humming of the central air unit is a constant, while I hear five different birds chirping summer music in the background. Occasionally, I hear the rustling of leaves as a soft warm breeze floats by, keeping the sultry heat manageable. The buzzing of bees and flies also flits in and out as I close my eyes. I open my eyes to see a rare dragon fly whizz by, heading to another spot where she can sip sweet nectar. I look over at my blackberry bush and see a hint of red, a sign that I need to wrap the bush in a net to harvest the blackberries before the birds do.
Four weeks ago, summer sounds were replaced with buzzing chaos: hundreds of limes rolled to be juiced, fifteen heads of garlic peeled to be minced, and twenty-four blocks of cheese unwrapped to be grated. Wedding preparations were in full force while friends and family were helping me to prepare food for the wedding. The activity that was happening in my kitchen seemed mild compared to the activity swirling in my mind: did we have enough food, what about the serving dishes, had Terry polished his shoes, and what about the guacamole? This swirling was in constant motion, feeling like I had entered the land of “Heffalumps and Woozles” where psychedelic limes and avocados were chasing me.
The wedding was beautiful, and I had enough food and serving dishes. Terry was so dashing in his suit that we didn’t care about his unpolished shoes. And I did forget about the guacamole, but a new friend came to the rescue and fixed it while I remained clueless about my mistake, soaking up my daughter getting ready for her big entrance into married life.
The aftermath of the wedding was still a little chaotic, but I no longer had activity swirling in my mind. I soaked up a Sunday afternoon with friends and family that had come a long way to celebrate. I enjoyed two more weeks with my son and his family, watching my grandson play his guitar while looking for a substitute tuner. I then flew to Nebraska to spend a week with my niece and nephew, swimming, drawing, playing games, and reading countless books.
Last Monday was the start of a new week. I made an ambitious list of goals to accomplish. But I was still wrestling with exhaustion. I fell asleep early, barely sneaking in a chapter of a book that I am loving. I managed to workout early at the gym a few days but chose to sleep in some of the days as well. I find myself in the egg chair with either a book in hand or my computer, occasionally drifting off for short naps. And now a week later, my list is less than half done.
And, surprisingly, I am totally okay with that. I’m okay that I am spending my holiday accomplishing a few things, but mostly resting, reading, and relaxing. A few weeks ago, I wrote about activities I can do to bring some restoration in my life. But many of those activities involve “doing”: paddling in a kayak, hiking a trail, exploring a new town. Today would have been a perfect day to hike, but I honestly couldn’t scrounge up the energy to go. And that’s okay. After an intense, busy season, both physically and emotionally, I need the extra rest to refuel.
Last Christmas, Maggie found a small turquoise juicer on clearance. She thought it was cute and would help make juicing lemons and limes easier on my arthritic hands, with the bonus of being helpful with wedding prep. We ran this juicer nonstop for a few hours, juicing about eighty limes. And then it stopped. The appliance didn’t make any funny noises or smells indicating its demise. It looked as cute as ever, but no longer functioned. This little juicer was never meant to replace a commercial juicer, it was for the small home cook who occasionally need some lime juice.
In my exhausted state, I am reminded, that I am human. I am not meant to run at top speed for long stretches, crossing things off my massive to-do list. I was created in the image of God who, after a busy week of creation, chose to model a principle for His prized creation: He chose to rest. Not because God was tired, because He has boundless energy. Not because he needed to take a break, because he is all powerful. Not because he needed to escape, because He is omnipresent. Jen Wilkin says in “None Like Him”, “The God of the Bible is infinite-immeasurable, unquantifiable, uncontainable, unbound, utterly without limit. We cannot take the full measure of him no matter how hard we may try.” She continues later saying, “Our limits teach us the fear of the Lord. They are reminders that keep us from falsely believing that we can be like God.”
God modeled rest so that we would learn we are not God, and sometimes we need rest. This past week I rested. It gave me space to listen to God, to empty my head of psychedelic limes, and to remind me where my energy comes from. It comes from a God who is abundant in His gifts. And I am thankful.