In Praise of Rest
By Keturah Harris-Leonforde
IThe screen taunted me with it's blank stare. I knew I had to write something. With a deadline looming, I had to get my fingers racing across the keyboard if I was going to successfully meet my commitment.
But my fingers refused to budge. My head was aching, my brain was foggy, my eyes twitched from the fatigue that was impairing them. I lay my head back in my chair and anxiously wondered to myself, What is going on here? Am I losing my ability to write and create? Was this writer's block or something far more pervasive and sinister?
I sensed that this was more than momentary writer's block. It went on and on for days until finally I had to request an extension and concede that for me nothing good could be created in my current state of exhaustion.
I am pleased to report that while taking some time to get some much needed deep rest, my world did not fall apart completely. In fact, after my intentional "time out", I emerged able to see my world from a clearer, calmer, wiser perspective than I ever thought possible. And, as an added bonus, creativity...flowed!
I am not alone in the discovery that sleep is a precursor to creativity. Arianna Huffington, hugely successful co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, challenges leaders to get more sleep in her book"; The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time". Huffington has been convinced - through dramatic personal and scientific evidence - that "the way to a more productive, more inspired and more joyful life is getting enough sleep."
Nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus encouraged His disciples, in a similar manner. In the midst of busyness, He urged them to come apart and rest awhile (Mark 6:31). If the Son of God - the Leader assigned the greatest, most time-sensitive and significant task of all time, could recognize the need to model and encourage scheduled rest - perhaps we who claim to follow Him would do well to do the same.
Now for those of us who thrive on accolades and recognition, please be warned: we may never be publicly rewarded for our choice to pursue periods of undistracted rest. What will likely happen however is that we may find ourselves able to access new levels of creativity, energy, enthusiasm and spiritual discernment. As we become intentional about taking "time out", we will rediscover what it is to be still and know that He - and not we - is God and the true source for all the productivity, creativity and strategy that we are desiring to access.
Keturah is an award-winning author, best selling co-author, speaker, business consultant and career coach. She authored Reflections from the Waiting Room, and Instructions from the Living Room. For more information about her books, visit KeturahSpace