We are officially halfway through the semester and, wow, are we all tired. Speaking for myself, I like to keep busy. I think often times I am busy to a fault. I will pile work on top of classes on top of more work on top of extracurriculars. Factor in the relationships that I try to maintain and errands that I have to run (which always seem to pop up out of nowhere, and all at the same time), and that leaves about no time for anything else.
Don’t get me wrong –– I love every bit of it. I transferred to Biola with every intention of immersing myself into it all. I was never one to ease myself into things, either. I just sort of dive in headfirst. But what I have learned in these past six weeks is that our bodies and minds were not designed to run forever. You have to rest. Up until this point in my life, I had always assumed rest would just be there: at the end of the day or, maybe if it was a particularly busy season, at least at the end of the week. This belief has not held up. If you wanted to, you could fill the entirety of your days and nights with activities, meetings, homework, friends...and even Netflix. And that’s what I did for a while. I assumed that sleep would come, sleep would come, sleep would come. But it didn’t. And guess what? I was. so. tired. Let me tell you, friends, going to class half-asleep for days in a row is not fun for anyone. I would sit there counting down the minutes until I could run back to my dorm and collapse onto my bed. I got so used to sleeping so little, that when I tried to sleep more I just couldn’t. And that’s where it really hit me, that we really do have to be intentional about rest.
Rest isn’t just a personal reward for doing another day. It is a command. In fact, it is just as much of a command as any in the Bible. God himself rested on the last day of creation. It is even incorporated into the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). I have had to learn that resting doesn’t make me lazy or unproductive. It is necessary. Take that nap. Sit down in a coffee shop and read that book. Lie out on the grass or on the sand, in the sun or under the stars. Do it, mean it, and use that necessary, sweet time to gain what you need to push forward.