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Topic: Rest (06/14/04)
TITLE: Hitting life's "reset" button
By Steven Skelley
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I have a computer that for some unknown reason will occasionally freeze up. Everything, at least on the surface, seems to be in order. The monitor screen still shows whatever I was working on at the time. Everything looks normal. Even though things look OK, when my computer freezes up, it is not able to do the things I need it to. It just doesn't work right anymore. Whenever this happens, I know what to do. For cases just like this, when the computer has taken a wrong turn or has reached its limit of ability, the computer manufacturers installed a reset button. When my computer has stopped responding, even if it looks OK on the screen, all I have to do is push the reset button and allow the computer a little time to refocus. It is programmed to clean it's memory of whatever it was working on, reset to a clearer starting point, and then prepare to begin work again. I love the reset button.
I think we all need to have our own reset button in life. Sometimes we have so many responsibilities and tasks that we stop being as productive as we could be. Sometimes we need a little diversion, a little rest to clean our memory of what we are working on and reset to a clearer starting point. That's why we have vacations. At least, that's what vacations are supposed to be like.
Thomas Mann once said, "I shall need to sleep three weeks on end to get rested from the rest I've had." Have you ever felt that way after a vacation? There can be a number of reasons why.
Sometimes it's because, after working hard all year, we make plans to enjoy some free time and then plan so much "fun" into our vacation that we come home more exhausted than we were before we left.
Sometimes it's because we've forgotten how to get along with the same people for 24 hours every day for an entire week. It can take effort to be kind, loving and cheerful when you don't really feel like it. After a few days with some people, you can be overlooking the awesome majesty of Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon or a Marco Island sunset, but wanting nothing more than to be back home, alone, scrubbing floors or cleaning the kitty litter box, or anything away from that person!
Sometimes, it's because we just refuse to allow ourselves the chance to wind down and relax. I've known people who've taken their laptops, cell phones and file folders on vacation with them. Glen Buck said, "If your capacity to acquire has outstripped your capacity to enjoy, you are on the way to the scrap-heap." Reset, reset, reset.
Vacations are a good thing. Rest is a good thing. When done correctly, vacations provide us with a chance to unwind, to refocus, to grow and to reset with a clearer mind.
Rest is important. The Bible tells us that God, who doesn't even get tired, chose to rest from creating the universe. He worked for six days, then rested on the 7th. I think he did this to give us an example to follow. We can accomplish unbelievable things and still take time to reset and relax and recupe.
Jesus was talking to some people one day and Matthew, the tax collector, records Jesus as saying this, "Come to me everyone who is weary and loaded down with heavy burdens and I will give you rest."
We all need time to recupe every so often. We all need to relax, unwind and clear our minds sometimes. We all need to hit the reset button so we don't freeze up and quit working altogether.
Have a great vacation this summer. Invest in rest. Lay aside those heavy burdens that leave you weary from their load. Don't make your vacation as busy as your work.
Rest, reset and refocus. Enjoy. You'll be better off in the long run.
Steven Skelley is an ordained minister with experience in a number of church affiliations. He enjoys communicating as a writer, public speaker and songwriter. He and his wife JoyceAnn have a teenage daughter, Steffany. You can visit his website at http://www.StevenSkelley.20megsfree.com