In the episode “The Pitch” from the television series “Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander described Seinfeld as “a show about nothing.” It was not true, of course. Seinfeld was one of the most popular television shows ever created, containing a lot of great observational humor. On the surface nothing happened in Seinfeld – people hung out at Jerry’s apartment most of the time – but beneath the surface a lot was going on.
Sometimes we enter a season when the Lord asks us to do nothing – lie in a hammock with a good book, watch the sunset and be at peace.
Some of us may feel guilty when God asks us to do nothing. I know I did. I entered a “Do Nothing” season a couple of months ago and ironically I did not know what to do. How can I do nothing when there is so much to do in life and so little time to do it?
I love to keep busy. I am one of these people who hates to be idle but God had other ideas.
“Be yourself,” the Lord said. “Step back from the world, take some time off and have fun. Spend time doing the things you want to do, not what you think you should do. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Take each day as it comes. Don’t worry, I’ve so got this.”
It took me a while to figure it out.
In the beginning I fought God…and failed miserably. At first I thought I was being lazy but the more I fought God and tried to keep busy the more my spirit was not at peace. I was unsettled, moody, at odds with myself. Finally, I gave up and decided to take God’s advice.
For a season I did nothing…and it was great!
I spent more time with my family. I went to the movies and swam at the beach. I played with my camera and binged-watched Netflix. I hung out with old friends, ate good food and listened to my favorite rock music. I caught up on my sleep, in bed by 9 p.m. every night.
I stopped striving to be a “Good Christian” too. I took a break from church, pushed the Bible aside, stepped away from my Christian writing, and ceased asking God for this and that and why my life was not perfect.
What was going on?
I believe God asked me to “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)
God brought me into a season of stillness. I guess He thought I needed a “spiritual vacation,” a time of rest in order to prepare me for what lay ahead.
Professional athletes take much needed breaks from their busy and grueling schedules. Why? Rest is physically necessary in order for the muscles to repair, rebuild, and strengthen. Recovery time is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the training results take place. It is also psychologically important. Rest prevents burnout and mental fatigue and can rekindle an athlete’s passion for their sport.
What happens to an athlete when they do not rest? “Overtraining Syndrome” kicks in. Some of the warning signs are: feeling tired and drained, aches and pains in muscles and joints, insomnia, headaches, decreased immunity (increase in colds, sore throats), moodiness and irritability, depression, loss of enthusiasm for the sport, increased incidence of injuries.
Christians are the same. We enter seasons when we need breaks and take a much-needed spiritual rest.
When I stepped back from the demands of the world – and my own demands to be a “Good Christian” – I was awash in peace and tranquility. Later on I was renewed, restored and refreshed. My batteries were recharged and today I have never felt stronger, more self-confident, reassured and alive in Christ. I thought God was simply being quiet or distant but ironically He was busy at work while I did not even realize it.
This is one of the great mysteries of the Lord. While we may think God is ignoring us, or worse, walking away from us in fact the opposite is true. He is working overtime building us up, tweaking our spirits, making us stronger and more in tune with what He has planned for us down the road.
Be still and watch how alive you become in Him, for “the Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14)Be still, do nothing and watch the Lord go to work Click To Tweet
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Copyright © 2017 L.M. Patrick, British Columbia