Today I’ll be driving 6-7 hours home from Boston after my grandmother’s funeral on Saturday. Since I won’t be driving, it sounds like it would be restful. Except of course for the two small children in back seat. That makes it work. Sitting in one place for all those hours seems like it would be restful, but I’m beginning to realize that rest and inactivity aren’t the same thing.
Sometimes rest is work. It means laying aside the things that we need or ought to do and choosing something else instead, something that leaves us refreshed. A run can be rest, if it allows you to calm your mind and heart with physical activity. A long drive can be rest, if it means a little solo time on the road to help the introvert in you recharge. A night out with friends without the kids can be rest, if it feeds your extrovert heart.
Other times rest our attitude in the midst of work. Knowing that, while my work on this earth may never be finished, Christ has promised that he will complete a good work in me. Taking hope in the complete work of the cross can give me an attitude of rest, even on the hardest, craziest day of motherhood.
Inactivity is not the same as rest. Sometimes doing nothing is the worst choice. Sometimes when I just “veg” or do nothing it makes me feel apathetic and depressed. That doesn’t mean I don’t take time to relax, I should chose my leisure activities so that they complement rest. Going to bed early sometimes rather than watch another mindless television show. Staying up late reading a good book or playing a board game with my husband. Knitting or crocheting while watching a favorite movie. These can all be rest too.