Throwing In The Towel

The time to rest is when you are tired.

Yesterday, I awoke at 3:27 a.m.. There is nothing particularly unusual about the hour. Generally, I wake up early. I think the reason the time was stamped on my brain was because my first conscious thought was, "I need to write."

My days have been full and my posting sporadic. I wanted to reverse that trend . . . but I was tired.

I knew things were not going well as I made my way through our darkened house. Many mornings I am like a stealthy black cat on a moonless night. I go about quiet and unnoticed. Yesterday I was more like the tin woodsman without his oil can. First I ran into a highchair we keep for the grand kids. I knocked off the serving tray top which landed on our tile floor with a very loud clatter. Then I collided with one of the bi-fold closet doors in our bedroom ("Sorry Shannan"). Then I tried to write, but ideas eluded me.  

Searching for inspiration, I went to my journal.

The back of my journal is my filing cabinet for ideas, quips, quotes, and lessons I am learning. Wandering through those pages I noticed this tidbit. Obviously, it came on the heels of a season of busyness:

"There are payoffs and pitfalls for unrelenting days of work. My experience is that any 20-hour day is followed by a physical and emotional recoil. I'm not going to be as productive on day two."

I was most certainly feeling the recoil. Ten days of unrelenting activity, particularly a lot of teaching and a lot of travel, had made for a handsome "payoff," but it was the "pitfalls" I was experiencing: 

  • My mind was not sharp.
  • Ideas were not flowing.
  • I was sluggish and struggling.

I struggled with focus. I struggled with getting the words right. I struggled with writing about rest on a Monday morning when most of my readers were going back to work. I struggled with writing this post for almost two hours when I finally threw in the towel. I hated to quit, but inside I knew that I should have stayed in bed and tried to pick up some more rest that my body desperately needed.

I hesitate to share this. It is not that I am afraid to admit weakness. I came to grips a long time ago that I'm not Hercules. It's just that biographical posts of this nature tend to express an unintentional "Woe is me." But that is not the point of this post. The issue is the necessity of rest and replenishment.

I was hearing the words of Jesus to his disciples:

"Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest for a while." Mark 6:31

Yesterday it was an invitation Jesus was giving to me, but my desire to be productive, to get back on the writing trail, to "push my way through it" drowned out his voice.

This morning I know better. The time to rest is when you are tired -- even if that is a Monday morning.