I find it immensely difficult to do nothing.

Playing Assassin’s Creed on my Xbox is so enticing, and it can very much feel like I’ve switched my brain off, but its gears are working plenty hard in the background. Reading blogs and writing heartfelt responses is wonderfully rewarding, but can take lots of mental energy. Writing stories engages the beautifully creative part of my mind, but when I hit roadblock, I have to solve the problem by figuring out what comes next. And playing ultimate is self explanatory in terms of expending physical energy.

Doing nothing means exactly that. No screens. No turning pages of books. No exercise. Just sitting – or lying down – and switching off as best I can. It is ok to let thoughts enter the mind, but as much as I am able, I let them exit my mind too.

Now, I am very good at sitting down, staring at a spot on a wall or desk or table, and ruminating over any little anxiety that is trying to grow in my mind. Physically I am at rest, but mentally and spiritually I am in turmoil. Practicing letting go is a skill. It is something I fail at every week. But this is good, because it means I am attempting to let things go!

Over the weekend my life group from church took a weekend away from the city, to spend time together at a beach up the coast. The parents of one of our group have a batch we were able to make use of, and this same person booked another amazing place through Air BnB. Where we stayed was only an hour’s drive from the city, but it felt like we were in another world. Fewer cars, relaxed atmosphere, slower pace: things we would all to well to implement more of in our everyday lives.

It was immensely peaceful. I even made time to write a blog post, and edit more of my novel manuscript, in that place of peace.

At times I found myself overthinking, but with gentle encouragement from the friends around me, I managed to make good choices for my wellbeing. When I feel flat, the best thing to do can be to have a drink of water and go for a walk. Even though I know this, my mind does a very good job of shielding me from making this choice. However, when someone else suggests them as things to do, it’s as if the lightbulb switches on.

Another thing that helped was being around two of the most uplifting kids I know. One always has a smile on her face and chatters excitedly away about anything and everything. The other was keen to throw a disc with me on our three walks up and down the beach. He was good at throwing and catching, as well as chasing the disc down after a long throw! These little encouragements, both intentional and unintentional actions, helped me find plenty of time to rest.

Being around good people can help us survive difficult times in our life. It can also help us to work really hard towards our goals when we feel like we’re moving through mud. Value the time spent with these people, and express that gratitude outwardly with our own words and actions too.

* * *

What things will you need to “switch off” to find your place of genuine rest?

Who in your life helps you to recover when you’re lacking energy?

* * *

“Please” and “thank you” go a long way. As do genuine compliments when you see heartwarming actions. The world can always use a bit of love, so share kindness as you go about your week.


Cover photo by Aldo Picaso from Pexels.


6 thoughts on “Rest

  1. Gary Fultz says:

    I sit on the back deck and watch the deer come into the yard, I walk the woods with a camera and paddle a canoe around the lake. No screens, no motorized speed (motorboat and atv), The world is in slow motion and I can rest and think and carry on a decent conversation with the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      That sounds a beautiful way to be in the presence of the Lord. True peace is found in Him when we can let go of all our worldly worries and desires. Thank you for this reminder Gary. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AP2 says:

    Walking in my local park everyday does wonders. I often get my best creative ideas from doing so. Also reading always helps me unwind. Glad to see you’re enjoying the slower pace of things Hamish. I believe what you speak of is hard for all of us. Wishing you well brother 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      Thanks AP. We’re fortunate here to be able to travel away to visit people and places, when many around the world still are not. Finding these places and spaces of peace in a world of limited size due to restrictions can be tough.

      I’m glad you’ve got a park to walk in, and reading to get stuck into. I pray everyone can uncover these places for themselves in whatever shape their world is in at the moment. Peace. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sundaram Chauhan says:

    Sherlock Holmes’ method comes to mind, where exhausted from analysing a case, he would pick up his violin, or go to the chemistry lab to conduct some experiments. He maintained that the best way to rest the brain is to engage deeply in an activity that’s totally disconnected from your work. :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish says:

      That is a brilliant suggestion. We can learn a lot from intelligent people, even ones within the fictitious realms of literature can’t we?

      Thank you for this, it is something I will have to remember. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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