• Claire Coyne

What is Rest?

What is rest? The dictionary defines it as "cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength." That sounds amazing, does it not? But how often do you do it -- and I mean really rest?

If you are anything like me, it is...well...never. In my head, to rest is to get a good night's sleep. But how can you do that in college?

Rest is something I really struggle with because I feel like there is always something to do. Even when I tell myself I am going to rest, my mind is still running a million miles an hour.

I heard on the radio the other day that our minds need to rest every two hours in order for us to be fully functioning on all cylinders. I am not sure if that is scientifically proven, but I think of how many days I am constantly working on, looking at or doing something from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep. In order to rest, we are recovering our strength, not spending five minutes scrolling through social media planning the next thing we want to do in our lives.

One of my biggest struggles with resting is that I feel like I am being lazy if I am not doing something all the time. Sometimes I feel like I have to squeeze something into every minute of my day like my productivity defines my worth. Let me just tell you, this is a terrible way to go about your day.

So often, I feel burnt out and completely exhausted and that is not how God intended our lives to be. Think about the creation story, on the seventh day, what did God do? He rested. It is not simply something we should do if we have time; resting is something we have to do. It is 100% absolutely okay to take a break from this busy life. Our society can sometimes tell us that we have to be going all of the time, we always have to be making things happen for ourselves but that is simply not the case.

We also have to abide in Christ and to abide in Him is to rest in Him. I had a good friend that explained it to me like this: We budget our money so that we do not run out, right? It is the same with our time. If we do not budget rest into our schedule, we will not do it until we are absolutely drained. But at that point, we have gone too far. In my own life, I have had to schedule a certain amount of time to be off my phone, not playing on my computer -- simply resting.

Some may ask, How do you rest? Is it just taking a nap? Well, no. But it can be if you want it to be. In order to rest, you have to be refueling your mind, body and spirit. Some people nap, some people knit, some people do yoga or take a walk, some people paint or journal. It is a personal choice, but you have to be refreshing yourself.

Get an accountability partner to ask if you have rested this week. Talk to others about it, because I guarantee that many people around you do not rest the way that they should. This is something that can really change your overall mental, spiritual and physical health! It is so important and I pray that we can all rest and abide in Christ, even through this crazy time of finals.

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