Have you ever had a sick day from school or work and had such a nice day that you're in no rush to go back the next day - so you milk it and take an extra day off? Nah, me neither.
Let me start by apologising for my lack of appearance on the blog recently. After spending each day writing and uploading a blog post - I took a week off to spend some time processing some family news. Don't worry - no one is dying. Butttt I can definitely say that I'm in a 'season of change' without attempting to sound super-spiritual and ungenuine.
That being said, now I'm back I'm trying to measure the difference between 'rest' and laziness. But also the difference between busy-ness and distraction.
Just like milking an extra sick-day from school, sometimes it can be easy to recognise stress, pressure or shock and allow ourselves time to rest - only to end up using it as an excuse to be lazy.
And sometimes it can be easy to see these same issues in our lives and run from them - using busyness as a distraction and substitute for dealing with your pain. Because if you're busy, at least you're not just wallowing, right?
We can rationalise that we don't want to be a 'burden' by bringing up our issues like a broken record. And we don't want to seem like we're 'milking it' but we end up burying it and don't actually address our emotions - and we stunt our healing.
So where do we draw the line between an adequate amount of 'rest' time and deciding it's time to kick our butts back into gear?
Well, it's beginning to dawn on me that I don't have any wisdom without God's guidance. I'm trying to remind myself to press into His word whenever I lose sight of this and begin to think I've got all the answers. So let's see what Proverbs 31 verse 27 (NIV) says,
'She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.'
This is the where we see, not a definitive line that we can draw between rest/laziness or busyness/distraction, but we do see that it is possible to be both attentive to and 'above' the situations in our lives that threaten to tear us apart.
This woman is not avoiding the issues that come her way, but is not dwelling in the temptation of laziness either. She has found a way to deal with the problems that approach her and I think that it's all about her perspective.
It says that she 'watches over the affairs of her household' - to do so would mean that she would need to be in a high enough position* to view things.
*Note that she is not drowning in her responsibilities, or neck deep in worries for her children, or even 'up to here' with stress over her unorganised life.
I think she's found a way to lean on God (not just in the hard times, but in all the times) and has practised viewing her life through the lens of His promises, faithfulness and with a trust in His ability to see the bigger picture - even when she cannot.
She does not need to control her circumstance, or dictate the actions of the people around her, in order to function. Because she abides in Him - she draws her strength, rest and peace from Him.
So when does 'resting' turn to laziness?
I don't have a clear answer. But I know that if I am abiding in God, I will be aware of my intentions - either to rest in Him or to avoid my problems and responsibilities.
And when does busyness turn into a distraction?
Well, when was the last time you carved out some time in your busy schedule to sit down with God? If you don't remember, you're probably letting your busyness distract you from your issues.
And if, like me, you're afraid that if you pause for a moment - that you'll come crashing to a hault and you'll break down? Let me encourage you that, He is safe for you. Go to Him. Abide in Him. Hide in Him.