Back when I was a weekend news producer, I saw my fair share of NASCAR races while sitting in the newsroom. The cars would whiz around the track and I’d watch the lap counter go from zero to the three digits. The races would last for hours.
But every now and then, the cars would find time to stop. And that’s when the pit crew would come in for tire changing, refueling, or any other adjustments.
Then the cars would keep going.
Although some pit crews can do all that in a matter of seconds, that short break helps restore each car to the condition it was at the beginning of the race (or close to it). And the cars wouldn’t make it to the finish line without them.
Rest helps our minds, bodies and souls in the same way.
When we can’t focus, we forget things more easily, and we don’t have the energy to be creative–it’s likely because we need rest.
Countless studies show that sleep sharpens our minds and improves the health of our bodies. Researchers say it also helps us process information and learn more efficiently.
Sleep has so many benefits when it comes to physical rest, but our souls need a different type of rest. It’s a type of rest I believe is only found by seeking God.
Soul-rest helps us find peace when we’re anxious (Philippians 4:6-7), offers restoration when we’re weary (Jeremiah 31:25), brings calm when there’s confusion (2 Timothy 2:7), or the freedom of forgiveness when we feel remorseful and desire to change our behavior (1 John 1:9). It lifts the heaviness from our hearts.
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says God is revealed to those He chooses. He then calls the weak and weary to come to Him:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
For me, seeking God is about reading the Bible and meditating on His Word–the words I believe He inspired and filled with His truth. It is also about lifting concerns in prayer. Those things remind me that there is a plan for my life, which is being worked for my good.
When we prepare to be inspired in a positive way, the goal is to renew our minds and open our hearts so God can transform us, according to that plan.
Attempting this without rest can be very hard.
I know from experience. There were a couple days during the week where I was so uninspired I found it hard to write or even plan the final details of my daughter’s second birthday party. I was burdened by those things, along with the daily responsibilities of being a toddler mom, and I felt a little anxious. It took a while to finally get things rolling again. But they did–thanks a lot of sleeping and seeking God.
This is Day 9 of the series, 31 Days of Inspired Living. Join me through the month of October as I write about what I think it looks like to find the inspiration that makes us better. I’ll also offer some encouragement for your journey. In case you missed a day, you can find previous posts in the series here.