It’s that time of year. The time of year when there’s a major assignment in every class within three days. The time of year when sleep eludes me and I wake up before the sun rises or go to bed afterwards. The time of year when the rejuvenation of fall break has long since worn off, and Christmas, even Thanksgiving, seems years away. The time of year when I think…”Why (and HOW) am I doing this to myself?”
I tend to be quite a procrastinator (understatement of the year), and this becomes especially evident around now, when I have lots to keep track of. Tests, papers, projects, presentations: everything piles up and I’m just barely hanging in there. It’s times like this when I realize how important it is to take some time to rest. And by rest, I don’t mean sleeping in or taking an afternoon nap. I mean rest in the sense of slowing down, reflecting, worshiping, praying, and simply spending some much-needed time with God.
The tricky thing is: the crazier things get, the more I need to spend that time with God, but the less time I have to do it. I have to be more intentional about my rest and worship time and take advantage of the little opportunities that I have. For example, if I have a 15 minute block of time, I may REALLY want to take a nap, but how much good is that 15 minutes of sleep really going to do me? An extra 15 minutes in scripture would provide not the sleep, but the rest that I really need. Or, if I’m pulling another ridiculously late night and about to go to bed at 6…why not stay up just a few more minutes to watch the sunrise and marvel at God’s creation with some meditation and worship? I may think I need that extra few minutes before an exam to stuff all the information I can into my head, but spending those few minutes in prayer proves to be far more beneficial, time after time.
The Sabbath is especially important: dedicating an entire day each week to rest is one of God’s greatest ideas for sure. It’s crucial to step out of my busy schedule and just…slow down. Even if I do decide to attend the classic Bedside Baptist after a particularly sleepless week, I make sure to spend time in prayer, worship, and Scripture every Sunday. And I have a very strict no-homework policy for one day every weekend: sometimes Saturday, sometimes Sunday, but every weekend I make sure to just take one day off, no matter how much I have looming over me. And no matter how busy I feel or how much I need to do…the rest is ALWAYS worth it.
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.”