I recently heard a reminder through a sermon about the importance of rests in our lives. But I had, I think, never heard it before as an analogy through music. I know I am not a musician and probably never will be, but I do love music. I love singing and listening to worship songs whether it be studying, driving, or just being at home with music playing in the background. And believe it or not my favorite music, depending on my mood, is usually the slow, soothing worship music from a few of my favorite Christian bands. I love the music that slows my thoughts and literally slows the pace of my life... and brings rest. But I have not often thought of the rests within the music itself.
What would music be like apart from rests? What would my life look like apart from rest?
Up until three years ago I never thought I was a person who needed rest. After spending a few weeks in Zambia, my mindset was radically altered. If you have ever heard the quote, "America created the clock, but Africa controls the time," you know what I am talking about. Africa doesn`t function by a clock. In fact for two whole weeks I think I never knew what time it was. We awoke with the sunrise and went to bed with the sunset. And the day in between was fillllled with rests. 11 am tea time, 2 pm tea time. Even the hospital surgeon took tea time! That is unheard of in my American life today. Surgeons here are too busy shoving their lunch in over a phone conversation on their way to Starbucks that they have no idea that rest even exists. And I was the same.
Zambia was only the beginning of a change of mind for my young 20 year old American mindset. After a second summer in Africa, this time four weeks, God confirmed again my desire for rest, for quiet with him and quiet with others. Little did I know he would require LOTS of rest from my sick and deprived body as I returned home sicker than I had ever been before and I would endure another 12 months of suffering the effects of malaria and mono through hospital stays and surgery. I really didn`t expect he was preparing me to go through that...
But now that I have, my life has been permanently altered. My physical body, my emotional make-up, and my psychological mindset has never required as much rest as it does now. I joke to friends about being a grandma, but really it`s the truth nowadays.
February brought the breaking point of me realizing I cannot keep running the rat-race of the typical American lifestyle. It was literally killing me-mind, body, and soul. Now I have adapted to a completely different lifestyle and weaning back into something "typical" will be slow and steady... as I combine this new desire God has given me for rest... with the insanely fast paced culture that I live in.
Where would I be without the rests? Would I enjoy music at all without each of its perfectly placed rests?
God is slowly teaching me that these rests have been and will always be perfectly placed and chosen in my life. He has, from the beginning, chosen these times of rests and he knows exactly when and why and for how long I need them. I am so thankful that he knows and I pray I will stop trying to run this race at my own pace, but also be willing to slow down and walk and even sleep when the Spirit leads me to.
In quietness (spending time alone with Me) and confident trust
(relying on My sufficieny) is your strength. -Isaiah 30:15
His timing is perfect and his sufficiency is eternal. The music he is creating with this life has perfectly placed rests, and it sounds amazing to Him.