The other day I was in the kitchen with my teenage son. I was going through the mail. He was stirring a pot of rice. It was a rare, quiet moment in our house where all the other kids were gone so I wanted to make the most of an opportunity to talk.
“Mark, what are you thinking about?”
“Nothing,” he replied. And I knew from the gentle way the word slowly tumbled out, it wasn’t a brush-off. But how in heavens could he be thinking about nothing?
I had to know. “So, when you say nothing, do you really mean nothing? Or do you mean you are thinking about something you don’t want to tell me about?”
“No. I mean I’m really not thinking about anything right now.”
“How is that possible? Like you don’t have one thing you are worried about or a conversation you’re rehashing or a bunch of lists you are mentally reviewing in your mind?”
He tilted his head and looked at me like I was one giant, unplucked eyebrow. “Ummm . . . nope.”
Amazing. Truly amazing. And challenging. I think I need to be a little more like Mark when it comes to emotional white space.
His brain can actually rest.
Rest. That sounds so good, but it’s really difficult for a girl like me. Even when my physical body is at rest, my mind rarely is. Can you relate?
I feel like I’m always juggling balls in my brain. Kids’ needs. Home demands. Work projects. The to-do lists never stop.
Yet the Bible makes it very clear that we are to pursue rest. Literally we are to hit the pause button on life once a week and guard our rest. Guard it fiercely. Guard it intentionally. Guard it even if our schedules beg us not to.
Resting is definitely not something I have mastered. I am not the hero example of this chapter. I’m just a messenger who has been trying to make some imperfect progress in this area. Because I know where there is a lack of rest, there is an abundance of stress. And where there is an abundance of stress, there is great potential for me to come unglued.
Always being on the go and keeping my stress level ratcheted high is a huge internal trigger for me. I know it. Now, I’m trying to follow God’s advice on what to do about it.
From Unglued ©2012 by Lysa TerKeurst (Zondervan) Used by permission.
Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author, Women of Faith speaker, and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Art, their 5 kids, three dogs and a mouse that refuses to leave her kitchen. See Lysa in person at the Women of Faith From Survival to Revival tour this fall. Find an event near you.