It is good to decompress

Everyone needs to decompress from time to time.  It is good for the soul.

I enjoyed a few days off last week.  I couldn’t have asked for a better week to do so.  It did not rain one day.  The weather was gorgeous with temperatures climbing throughout the week.  It was cool in the morning but the late mornings and early afternoons were ideal.  I decided to do a few projects.  The kids were in school and my wife had to work.  It is hard for me to truly rest, if by rest one means doing nothing.  I can watch TV for a few hours but then I get restless.  I feel like I am squandering the day.  I could read a book.  Yet, I find myself wanting to implement the thoughts in the book.  For me, rest involves doing projects.  There is a sense of accomplishment after I complete a task.  I can look back and say it is done.  Finishing something provides a sense of completion.

So, I wrote down several projects I wanted to tackle during the week and went at them.  The biggest task was redoing parts of our deck.  This was tedious and physically draining at times.  Yet, it was enjoyable.  I tied up our dog on a leash, ditched my phone, and spent entire days outside working away.  By the end of the day I was tired.  My son frequently said, “You have a weird definition of rest.”  True!

But, for me, it was thoroughly refreshing.  As I worked, I thought through life.  I realized priorities that had gotten mixed up and tried to put them back in order.  I reflected on the blessings God has given me and thanked Him for them.  I let go of silly things that had consumed me.  As one day flowed into the next I found my emotions becoming less tangled.  I spent time praying to God about various life issues and decisions.  Life became clearer.  Worries and concerns began to dissipate.  By the end of the week, I found myself watching my daughter’s track meet and son’s baseball game with a very light heart.  I was in the moment undistracted from all the duties and burdens of life.

Everyone needs to find time to pull back from life.  However, what works for me might not work for you.  A walk.  Getting out-of-town.  Reading a book.  It makes no difference as long as there is time to decompress.

Life is so hectic.  We race through each day oftentimes responding to other people’s expectations and demands.  In the process, emotions pile up.  Disappointments occur.  Priorities get mixed up.  At the end of the day we just crash because we need to rest.  When we do this for weeks, it is no wonder we start to feel like life is handling us rather than us handling life.

Jesus experienced the busyness of life.  Crowds demanded to see him.  There was opposition from the religious leaders.  He had to teach, heal, and minister to countless people.  He spent the entire day giving to other people.  Certainly, it was draining!  It is no wonder we find him on numerous occasions slipping away to a quiet place to pray.  He needed to be refreshed.

As do we.

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