It’s time to take a break

What does vacation 2020 look like for you? 

The cruise industry has been sending catalogs lately—for 2021. 

The airlines are making adjustments—but I’m still not ready to get on a plane. 

So, I’ve decided I need a good staycation. I need to rest, but, most importantly, I need my mind to rest.

3 steps to a rested mind and a rested soul 

Vacations are a good idea. I don’t own a Winnebago so I am going to have a great staycation. 

I can’t rest if I continue to do what I have been doing. A good break requires a few changes. Since I won’t have a change of scenery, I need to change what I am doing with the view I have. 

Step 1: Eliminate the noise . . . I mean news 

It’s time to turn off the news—a.k.a. noise. 

I’m seriously frustrated with the lack of objective reporting these days. I’m not going to change their drama, but I can turn it off. 

When I heard that Walter Cronkite had passed away, I was sad. My next thought was, “So has his style of reporting.” 

The old Dragnet show used to say, “Just the facts, ma’am.” That’s what we need. 

How does a person find “just the facts, ma’am”? 

Click on a headline page from your favorite paper and only read the article if you need to know more. 

Most of the time, the headline is sufficient. There just isn’t a reason to fill our minds with the angst of today’s news, especially if the reporters are working hard to create angst, as opposed to “just the facts, ma’am.” 

We can’t rest our minds if we keep filling them with the world’s opinions. Hit the off button on the news for a while and remember what King Solomon told us: “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (Proverbs 29:11). 

What would King Solomon say about television these days! 

Step 2: Increase the quiet 

What calms your heart and mind? Quiet music? A great book? An early-morning walk? An extended time of prayer? 

Everyone is different. I wish I were hiking in the coolness of the mountains, enjoying the view. 

I can’t do that right now, but I can get up early and enjoy a long walk in my neighborhood. I’ve really enjoyed waving at neighbors. That is one of my COVID blessings. 

There is something powerful about pure quiet. Could it be because that is when God’s voice is loud? 

The prophet Isaiah said, “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength’ (Isaiah 30:15). But the rest of that verse matters as well. Isaiah went on to tell God’s people, “But you were unwilling.” 

Quiet is something most people don’t choose, but they desperately need it. 

Our spiritual strength is found in the quiet, when we listen to and trust God’s voice in our lives. 

Are we willing? 

Step 3: Step off the treadmill and find your path 

It often feels like our lives are spent running hard on a treadmill. We do what we need to do to have a healthy life, but, at the end of the day, we are still in the same place we started. 

The treadmill of life is necessary. We need to survive. But, life isn’t just about surviving. God wanted more for his kids. We need to take time and rest from our normal activities if we want to rest our souls. 

The prophet Jeremiah was speaking for God when he said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls’” (Jeremiah 6:16). 

It isn’t enough to just know you need to get back to the “Walter Cronkite” days. (We only had three channels back then. Maybe that was a good idea?)

A lot of people only had one car. Most homes had a front porch with chairs. We had four-foot fences so the kids and the dogs could stay safe, but we could still see over them and have a conversation with our neighbors. 

How “tall” is your fence today? 

It isn’t enough to just wish for the “ancient paths” or simply remember them. The Lord said to stand on those roads and “look.” Ask him for those ancient paths because they are the “good way.” 

But, when we know the good way, we have to choose to “walk” there. It’s then we find rest for our souls. 

However, Jeremiah 6:16 ends with words similar to Isaiah’s: “You will find rest for your souls,” but the people said, “We will not walk in it.” 

What would you say? 

It’s time to rest 

I wish knowing God’s word was the same thing as “living” God’s word. The Pharisee within me is often satisfied with knowing instead of doing. 

I know I’m supposed to rest, and I will! There will be less news and more quiet, and I will choose to do those things that cause my soul to rest. It’s time to take a break from the angst and remember that the God who created the world is more than capable of running it! 

Things are better than they seem when we see them through God’s truth. There is a reason Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). 

We know that verse, but will we “do it”? 

I’m going to. 

My blog will be silent for a couple of weeks and, hopefully, my life will as well. I’m ready for some quiet, and I’m ready to rest myself and my soul. I will be back at my computer later. For now, I wish for you a couple of weeks of quiet as well. 

Now, I’m off to “do” almost nothing.