SANITY AFTER THE SHUTDOWN



SO, how are you…really? This unprecedented shutdown landed on each of us differently…with a squashing thump!

We ALL got sucked into this COVID cyclone before our minds could wrap around it. Our frenzied schedules halted abruptly; our entire living, confined to the same four walls indefinitely. WHEW! Isn’t it nice to re-enter the world, finally?

I don’t think we will forget this time when the whole world slammed shut. I don’t think we know who we are on the other side of it quite yet, either. What will we carry from this shutdown?

If you’re like me, you learned some things about yourself in this crisis. Me? I discovered newfound “essentials” that seemed unnecessary before. I also realized that some previously assumed “essentials” aren’t, at all.

Personally, I long to step out of this shutdown with a different rhythm to my routine.

Many of us did not recognize our pervasive exhaustion until stillness became a mandate. Our overdrive masked the fatigue grinding at our bodies, minds, and souls. It’s ironic how we often overlook our “weary” until we get still. Then, we feel like a gnat underneath an elephant—every part of us feels the crushing!

Confession . . . my Type-A personality leaves no room for rebooting. The list ever lingers. The sirens never cease. But that’s just it. I sabotage myself when I wait for life to tell me when to rest. I must grab the reins and tell my life when I’m shutting down for a day.

How tragic is it that it took a government-imposed time-out to get my attention? It’s jacked up!

My daughter and I returned from Israel days before the shutdown ensued. I watched the Jewish people’s rhythms of rest and recharging throughout Shabbat. I left determined to align with the cadence the Lover of my soul designed for me.

Folks, God instituted a day of rest, NOT because He needed it, but because He knew WE need it! How have we forgotten? God didn’t merely recommend pulling out of the rat race for Sabbath, He commanded it. Why? Because, our Good Father knows that recharging renews every facet of our being . . . mind, body, soul . . . ALL OF IT!

Establishing Sabbath in our lives ensures that we don’t drift too far from the One who knows us best and loves us most. That refueling time with our Good Father reframes the lens of our soul to see more clearly. It rejuvenates our ability to live and love more fully.

Sabbath ensures we don’t drift too far from our true selves. When we wander from Him, we consequently wander from the real us, too. We eventually lose ourselves in desert places, trying to find our true home.

When we step out of life’s traffic, we can know His voice, His love, and His blessings. We’ll rekindle wholehearted trust in His promises for us. Jesus says to us today:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll RECOVER your life. I’ll show you how to take a REAL REST. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced Rhythms of Grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The One who holds the keys to our deepest longings and greatest joys, the One who holds the answer to every question and solution to every problem, the One who holds YOU . . . He designed us to weekly step out of the rat-race, so He can fill us with Himself.

What have I learned in this shutdown? I’m learning that I can do more in six days with His strength than I can do in seven days with mine. I’m still a work in progress, but I endeavor to live in a new rhythm of grace. It’s saving my life. It will save yours too. Will you join me?

For comments or prayer, please contact Dr. Lanier at HopeCommunityChurch.tv.


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