The Roman poet Ovid said, ‘Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
How true this is, yet how often we ignore the wisdom. The pressures of life cause us to function at high speed a lot of the time. But it is true that we are most productive and fruitful when we have rested. Taking seasons of rest is so important. It not only impacts our wellbeing but our relationship with God too.
At Third Space, all our team take regular prayer days. This summer we’ve enjoyed these days and times with God, and sometimes with the added blessing of sunshine! They look different for each of us, according to our personalities and ways of connecting with God. But the heart is the same: a day of surrender and time to simply tune in to God. For me personally, I have also attempted to have a slower, more restful month during August, and I honestly feel the benefit of it. On my last prayer day, I sat in the stillness of nature and reflected on Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God.’
When I am busy, I am quick to assume a god-like role as I feel everything depends on me. I add a greater worth to my productivity. When I am busy it is harder to hear, and harder to gain perspective because of so many distractions, and little head space.
But when I am still, when I take rest, God catches my attention again, I relinquish control and remind myself that He is God, He is sovereign. In the stillness I hear better, in the stillness I am rested and restored. I hear the rhythm of my breathing again, I am more aware of my senses, and the gentle activity of nature around me. There is something beautifully refreshing about that. In the stillness there is space for fresh thoughts and inspiration to come.
The words ‘be still’ in Hebrew mean to let go, to surrender. We surrender in order to know that God is in control. We give up trusting in ourselves and our own designs in order to experience the glory of God’s all sufficiency.
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10