“Guard well your spare moments. they are like uncut diamonds. discard them and their value will never be known. improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Coming in from a morning spent on the soccer field (well to be precise the sidelines!), I set to and tackled the kitchen which was very much showing evidence of a rushed exit from the house. Dishes and left over breakfast cluttered the bench. Walking back into the kitchen minutes later it was to discover that my creative 6 year old was already making use of the space to make marmalade!
The clean and clear kitchen bench was a creative space for him. In the same way once he has tidied his room within minutes the clear floor has inspired more creations. I looked at that now messy again kitchen bench with my son earnestly juicing oranges and all the ingredients he thought were needed piled around and felt God speak to me – creativity needs space.
Time for us just to be.
Is there breathing space on your desk? In your calendar? In your home? In your heart? Space for God to move and whisper the genesis of an idea in our hearts. Space to inspire, to dream and then to do.
Winnie the Pooh had it right when he said “Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.”
People often comment that they need to “Carve out time”. The use of the word carve is definitely appropriate for the effort sometimes required to rest!!! It takes intentionality to slow down, to turn down invitations, to unplug, but it is oh so worth it! Not stopping is one of the risks of the 24-7 society that we now live in. Flexible hours and the technological advances have meant life is easier on the one hand but provides challenges on the other. We can no longer unplug from work as easily when we leave the office. If we haven’t had the chance to do the food shopping there is a supermarket open 24 hours to assist. Express options for shopping, deliveries are everywhere. We can effectively pay bills, work, shop 24-7! This road runner approach to life in the 21st Century means that it is hard to slow down. In fact few places put us out of reach of work and responsibilities! Recently, while I was surprised to receive an out of office reply from my Software provider stating that he was in the Australian Outback, I was even more startled by the fact that 2 minutes after receiving his out of office message he actually responded to my email. Even in the outback you can still remain plugged in!
If you need further convincing about the hectic pace of life then look no further than “The World Institute of Slowness”. Founded to promote slow living! Yes life has got so busy that we need an Institute to tell us how to slow down! Actually, we need look no further than the Bible. If we go back to the creation of the world we will see that God demonstrated the importance of rest by doing just that! He created the world and then He rested. It was a purposeful stop. God did not need rest as He does not weary, but He had finished creating the world.
It’s time to ensure that taking rest – that pressing pause on life – is part of the rhythms of our days, weeks and years. Not rest to recover but rest to sustain, to refresh. From five-minute interludes to longer breaks, rest should be an integral part of our life. From having a cup of tea (where the tea bag has actually had time to steep!) to an afternoon reading a novel, a weekend away. Rest.
“On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work.” (Genesis 2:2)