by Hannah Nelson, Kids Minister
I know what you’re probably thinking: “HOW is this going to help me spiritually?” Wait for it, we’ll get there. My brain goes all day. I have five kids: feed them, help with homework, school pick-ups, sports practices, band concerts, family time, breaking up sibling fights, etc. I have a husband: catch up on our workdays, spend quality time together, run the house together, talk through family problems, go on dates, plan and go on vacations/trips, etc. I have a job: reply to emails and texts, plan events, meet with people in church, plan Sunday curriculum, have weekly staff meetings, make hospital visits, train and support volunteers, support parents and families in crisis, etc. I have a house: regular cleaning, seasonal cleaning, maintenance, bills, yardwork, grocery shopping, getting gas in the car, making meals, etc. You get the idea. From the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep, there are a thousand things in my mind that keep going.
You know that commandment in the Bible that says to observe the Sabbath? Have you ever really thought about why we are supposed to take a day of rest? I mean, isn’t it the American way to over-commit, over-plan, and over-schedule ourselves? A day of rest doesn’t mean you are being lazy, it means you are following the rhythm that our Creator God said was best for humans. Even Jesus needed to get away from the crowds and find rest.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
Now, my favorite form of rest is a good nap! In my house, my kids would call me the napping queen. But, coming in at a close second to catching up on my sleep, is brainless entertainment. Sometimes I just need to plop on the couch, put my feet up, drink some tea from my favorite mug, and turn on reality TV. I like shows like American Idol and The Amazing Race. These are shows which I can watch without needing to pay too much attention–it gives my brain a break. I know many people like to have their rest time be in quiet reflection or something like bird-watching. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of rest, it’s actually really great! But, what I have found for me is that I need something to occupy my brain, so that I can really rest from thinking about all the things I need to do. I call it my “brain juice.” Often at night, in order to fall asleep, I will play a word game on my phone. My husband likes to poke fun at me, of course! He teases that I am tethered to my phone. In reality, if I don’t use up the remaining “brain juice” that is left in my head, I will lay in bed and run through the list of things I will have to do the next day…or worse, the things that I didn’t get to earlier that day! So, then, laying bed isn’t very restful at all.
Resting comes in all sorts of variations. I happen to be taking advantage of the brainless entertainment provided, in order to drain my brain juice. I definitely still need time to be quiet, to be in the Word and prayer, and maybe read a good book. But, I say, let’s stand up for those who need shallow entertainment to help them rest and relax!