It's easy to find ourselves hitting the ground running on January 1st. We take off with a sprint at the beginning of the year only to find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked, worn out, and exhausted mentally, physically, or spiritually. There's something about the blank slate of January first that makes us feel like we can do anything and everything all at once. And it's true that this is a blank slate and a fresh start. But we have to make the choice to use this fresh start wisely. We don't want to wear out in a only a short time.
It's time to take a rest. Use January as a period of rest. Let this be peace, ease, and refreshment for your mind, body, and soul. The best work and goal setting can come out of a period of rest in which we spend quiet time with God praying, studying the word, thinking about our goals, and asking what He wants from us in this blank new year.
Sunday is the Sabbath day, the day designated for rest. God rested from his work on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3) not because he was tired, because we know God is all powerful and never tires, but he rested to set in motion an example of how we should live. As I look at my brand new 2015 planner, the monthly layout features Sunday and Saturday on each end of the week. Now, we know God rested on the seventh day, which would place Sunday at the very end of the week rather than the beginning. So what if we treated January in this way? Our planners and calendars feature January at the start of a new year, but what if we used it as a period of rest from everything we have done in twenty-fourteen?
And I don't mean a period of rest to stay in our pajamas and binge watch on Netflix. This can be a period of active resting. We can stop striving because our salvation is not based on works, but Jesus is our rest. Active resting means taking the time to understand what God is asking us to do in 2015, or just what he is asking us to do now. Making note of what worked in 2014 and what didn't. Finding our core values and eliminating the unimportant things from our life so that we have more time for the most important things.
This rest doesn't come easy, at least not for me. It's hard for me to accept taking the time to be still and listen, yet it's one of the most important things we can do. Too many times I pray for answers and then rush about all they day, forgetting to stop and listen for those answers. I feel like resting means I'm letting go of control. And it does. Taking the time to rest and let go of control means trusting that God will take care of things. We have to relax our grip in our own lives and give it God. I'm learning this now more than ever.
Stop. Listen. Rest. Read. Pray. Seek. And when the time is right, go.
// Read: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29
// Listen: Find Rest by Francesca Battistelli
// Pray: God, today I thank you for sending your son so that we might cease striving for righteousness we could never perfect and find rest in Him. I pray that you would help me to let go of my control and trust in you to take care of things. I pray for guidance in twenty-fifteen. Where do you want me to go? to do? to say? Please refresh my mind and my spirit and help me to walk closer in your Will this year.
This post is part of the Fresh Start series: INTRO // rest // quiet time // contentment + gratitude // goal-setting // home // wardrobe // hair, skin, nails // work habits // friendship + fellowship // marriage // wellness