Taking a Break
It is easy to get lost to this world, isn't it? Many of us are going about our lives as if we are a leaf caught up in a wind tunnel. The current pulls us this way one minute and another way the next. There is so much coming at us that we are sometimes helpless to focus on any one thing for long.
I'm guilty of trying to do all the things that I can cram into a single day and still I often feel as though I accomplished nothing because the day is a complete blur. It's no wonder I am exhausted by the time I fall into my bed at night.
Are you like me? Do you feel like there is an endless line of people making demands for your attention daily? Sometimes I feel as though I am the rope in a tug of war. It is exhausting and overwhelming.
When life gets too noisy and too hectic, do you feel like running away? Hiding? I do. The good news is that you don't physically have to run away or hide. Let's face it, your family, friends and employer would just hunt you down and drag you back if you did, right? Running isn't the answer. Retreating from the world for a moment however, is the answer.
Can you shut off the noise of the world for 10 minutes? Everyone can spare 10 minutes. Leave your phone behind or turn it off. Walk away from your computer. Turn off the TV. Find a place where you can go for 10 minutes and be completely alone. During that 10 minutes, don't think about anything you need to be doing. Don't cast a single care about things you are struggling with. Don't allow your mind to be distracted. Instead, focus on God, the only one who can bring you peace; the only one who truly understands you; the only one with the power to save your from the world. Not sure how to do that? Let's give this a try together.
For 10 minutes, close your eyes and visualize a quiet meadow with a small stream running through it. Look all around while you listen to the sound of the water as it flows over the smooth stones. Everything here was created by God. Imagine Him taking utter darkness and creating the warm sunlight that you see and feel here. Think about him speaking the grass into existence, every single delicate blade. He created the cool water that cleanses and sustains all living things. Imagine Him doing this, just saying the words and these things are suddenly just "here".
Now put your hand on your chest and concentrate on your heartbeat. Feel that rhythm? God created that too. Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. He breathed the breath into your lungs. He stitched you together in your mother's womb. He created you intentionally and with love.
Imagine yourself now lying on your back in that meadow. You reach over with one hand and feel the soft grass and with the other, you move your fingers back and forth through the brook. My friend, everything around you was made for you to enjoy. God created the earth beneath you, the sky above you, the water that sustains you just as He created you. He didn't give you life just for you to be tossed about in a whirlwind, to the point that you don't know if you are coming or going. He created you to love Him; to bring your worries to Him; to talk to Him about your dreams; to long for Him. With so much in this life completely out of our control, isn't it good to know we can always spare a few minutes and take a break to shift our focus from the chaos to something peaceful?
Connecting to God isn't hard. He's only as far away as a thought, which is always close and instantaneous. Isn't it wonderful to be able to access the Creator of universe just by slipping away, closing our eyes and thinking of Him? It really is that easy! However, the first step is always to turn down the volume on the world around you and close your eyes to shut out the distractions. It is only then that you can retreat to that place where life can be broken down into the simplest of terms. The Creator and the created.
Perhaps your retreat does not take place in a meadow but rather on a mountaintop, in the woods, on a beach or in a garden. Maybe you prefer to rendezvous with God beneath the stars or under an overcast sky. The point is to find a location that God made, rather than a place that is man-made. Plan your escape to whatever place epitomizes peace and relaxation for you. God will be there, waiting to give you respite from the modern world which so quickly drains your energy. Sitting on a mountaintop, staring at a star-filled night sky may be where you most fully comprehend and appreciate God's glory. The key here is plugging yourself in to the wonders of His creation and trust me, He will be right there. When you visualize Him speaking those stars into existence, you can't miss Him. You will be amazed at how powerful His presence is felt simply by turning your mind to Him and thanking Him for all He has done and all He is.
There will be a time for each of us when there is no more pain, no more sorrow and no more trials. The thought of that time makes me giddy with anticipation! We will experience perfect peace and our spirits will be at rest. Until that time, we must continue to push forward in this life as best we can. However, it is vital to remember that you deserve a break from the noise and you have the power to take that break anytime you feel that the world is closing in around you. God is waiting, forever waiting for you to break away and come spend a few moments with Him. In return, He will renew you and strengthen you so you can go back and tackle whatever is next on that "To Do" list. But remember, as soon as you go back to your busy life, God is waiting for the next time you will stop and make time for Him. Your time together is precious to Him. May it be even more precious to you.