I feel like this statement has a wide general application in life. It applies to every path, every goal, and every challenge. Just think about it for a second. Every time we set out to accomplish something, we set out with full steam and limitless energy at first. Then, about half to three quarters of the way to our goal, we hit that proverbial wall. Our resolve waivers. Our energy supply decreases. We feel sure, at the moment, that there is no way we can finish. We wonder why we started in the first place. Interestingly, the perceived obstacle at the moment isn’t even that significant at the time. Often, it is just a slight twist on what we were already dealing with, a slight change in variables. And yet, it can be enough to stop some people in their tracks. I have a theory here.. I think this happens because we all need a break sometimes. We need to let the steam out of whatever pressure cooker that we have created for ourselves at the moment. In and of itself, this break can be healthy and allow us time to regather the strength to head back toward completion of our goal. We need to give ourselves permission to take these brakes.. The trick is to not take too long and get back on track once the break is over. I guarantee you, finishing what we started will be worth it.
Remember how we were always taught that Sunday is a day of rest? You were supposed to rest and gather your mojo to prepare you for the rest of the week with no hard labor or rushing around. You were supposed to slow down, make time for reflection or worship and just…be. I have to confess, that concept has completely gone to the wayside for me for many years now. Sunday has become the catch all day for everything that I didn’t get to throughout the rest of the week: grocery shopping, running errands, cleaning, going through the email back log, etc. I treat it as if Sunday somehow contains more hours than the rest of the week, at least in relation to the unrealistic expectations I have of what I can accomplish. That way I am sure to be disappointed no matter what happens. I am not sure how it happened exactly. I think it crept up on me slowly through the years. There is no rest to be had on Sunday. It has just become impossible. But, is that really healthy? Don’t we all need some down time? Isn’t that an essential part of self-care, the biblical recommendations not withstanding?
In fact, down time IS an essential part of self care. We need a day to reflect, regather our thoughts, and actually rest. A day of rest is important physiologically to help your body replace the energy stores in your muscle cells so that your battery can be fully recharged for your next workout. A day of rest allows for some mechanical repair from your previous exercise. A day of rest is important psychologically because it allows us to slow our minds down from the daily, emotionally exhausting grind. When we unplug from our relentless, preplanned day to day activities, we can actually stop to enjoy our surroundings, take a momentary deep breath and do something just for ourselves for no reason and mentally prepare for the rest of the week. I am reminded of the words of Matthew Kelly, author of Resisting Happiness: “Don’t waste a single Sunday. If you don’t waste Sundays, you will be less likely to waste Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.” The bottom line is, sometimes you gotta brake now, so you don’t break later when you don’t mean to. Happy Sunday everybody!