In the early morning hours, I sit in the quiet. There are few words if any. Preferably few words.
As I sit holding my cup of tea, feeling the warmth radiate into my hands and up my arms, I let the steam waft over my face, close my eyes, and just breathe.
My foggy mind slowly awakens.
Even the birds are silent this morning. There’s a peaceful hush around me.
And I ponder the simple joy of a cup of morning tea.
Don’t rush. Savor. Be in the moment. Enjoy each sip. Taste. Flavor and smell explode over my awakening senses.
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28
Why do we rush? Why do we insist on living at a pace that crushes our spirit?
In his book, Addicted to Busy, Brady Boyd theorizes one of the reasons may be FOMO – fear of missing out. I’ve been pondering this statement for a couple of weeks now. By staying connected to the phone, the computer, the iPad, the internet, the television, the radio all hours I’m awake, my body and brain have no downtime. No quiet. No time for reflection.
What would happen if I turned off my phone for a period of time each day? Would the world crash if I shut down the computer for an hour? Do I really need to answer the phone when it rings during dinnertime? Do I even need to have my phone anywhere near me during dinnertime? Will anything earth-shattering really happen if I unplug for 30 minutes?
I suffer from it.
My cup of tea is getting cooler while I ponder these thoughts. And I’m now drinking it quickly. Just to get it finished.
Note to self: when my tea is hot, I have to slow down, sip it, savor it. Enjoy.
Max Lucado tells this story in The Applause of Heaven:
When I was ten years old, my mother enrolled me in piano lessons. . . . Spending thirty minutes every afternoon tethered to a piano bench was torture. . . . Some of the music, though, I learned to enjoy. I hammered the staccatos. I belabored the crescendos. . . .But there was one instruction in the music I could never obey to my teacher’s satisfaction. The rest. The zigzagged command to do nothing. What sense does that make? Why sit at the piano and pause when you can pound? “Because,” my teacher patiently explained, “music is always sweeter after a rest.”
It’s in the periods of rest that we have space to refresh. To vacate for a bit. But how do we intentionally build these periods into our everyday lives? Is it really necessary? I believe it is.
Here’s a few moments I’ve found:
- Morning cup of tea (or coffee)
- Turn off anything electronic for at least 30 minutes
- Take a walk
- Turn off the TV at night; read a book or magazine instead
- Listen to my spouse or my children talk about their day
- Sit on the deck and just listen
Guess what? I don’t miss out. My FOMO is a fallacy.
Being present, slowing down, pausing to rest. A mini vacation every day. It’s good for you and for me.
What are some ways you create moments of rest in your day? I’d love to learn from you. Share them in the comments below.