Friday, May 22

Intentionality and Productive Rest

So, my dad says to me this week "I went to your blog. There is like, nothing happening there."

A true observation.

I will remedy that now. (It's really only been 3 weeks. That's not that bad.) When I'm not hunkered down in front of the computer to write essays, the impulse to blog about things is not nearly as strong.

I've been thinking a lot about time usage lately. Well, not just lately, it's one of those things that always seems to be in the back of my mind somewhere, but, especially lately as I've finished school and started work and have different routines and different priorities. And, because I've been able to rest and slow down and use my time differently. And, because I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Jesus is coming. Look busy."

When I finished school, I decided that I wasn't going to jam-pack my days with ten million item to-do lists right off the bat. I was going to take some time to slow down after the craziness of the end of the semester, and after a few weeks, I would start picking up the pieces that had fallen in the midst of the school chaos. I told James that I would take care of necessities, but, maybe not have the house in tip-top fashion, and likely not make fancy meals (or any meals, for that matter), and I was going to go for walks and read and take naps, etc etc. And I did, for the most part.
During those weeks, I made a realization about the different ways time off can be used. I think there is a difference between rest and laziness. There would be some days, when I would get up, eat my breakfast, pull out my computer, and before I knew it, 2 hours or so had gone by of me reading up on facebook, people's blogs, and random other stuff. At the end of this time I felt no more rested or relaxed. I felt like I had wasted my time. It hadn't restored or refreshed me in any way. And while I didn't need to feel guilty about the way I had used my time as I didn't really have any other tasks that needed completing, it still wasn't a productive use of my time. I think there is such a thing as productive rest. Productive in the sense that it produces something - a refreshed and rejuvenated person, as opposed to one that is numbed after hours of facebook fodder.
Which leads me to the "Jesus is coming. Look busy." A phrase which makes me want to scream. Jesus wasn't big on busy, I don't think. What he was big on was intentionality. Intentionally spending with groups of people eating and talking. Intentionally waiting a few days before getting to Lazarus', who just happened to be dead by then. Intentionally hanging out with kids. Intentionally teaching. Intentionally healing. But not looking busy. Sabbath Rest was an important part of Jesus' Hebrew culture, and one he embraced. I think we too can hugely benefit from intentional times set aside for rest. And I think we should be careful with how we use these times, that they are protected for the things that will actually refresh and restore us, rather than filled with things that don't hurt, but don't necessarily help either.
"Jesus is coming. Be intentional." We'd probably be much more effective within this mindset than one of "looking" busy, but maybe not producing much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails