We live in a world that moves at quite a pace – we have a ‘fast lane’ and a ‘fast track’, a production line – when you are not working hard to get ahead or stay ahead people are ‘letting off steam’ or ‘letting their hair down’ – I’ve never done that one with my shiny pelt!!! There are numerous ‘quick fix solutions’ or ‘eight easy short cuts to...’
We are always looking for better, bigger, quicker, easier.
And with a young family, and a job as well, I can associate with the whirlwind we call life.
When there’s a moment of downtime I usually just want to 'zone out' – so much of the day is busy, full, structured, active and involves multiple people, in multiple conversations about multiple topics that even I – an extreme extrovert who loves people & conversation – just wants to ‘rest’. For rest, read disappear into the numbness of the TV! I have learnt over time that this temporary feeling of ‘aahhhhhhhh’ is never long lasting, edifying or deep.
Over the years I have begun to see the difference between recovery and restoration.
Both recovery and restoration work on an emotional, physical and spiritual level.
Recovery is the first move away from work. If you think of a pendulum with ‘work’ on one side and ‘rest’ on the other I see recovery as the pendulum swinging away from work towards rest. The slowly down and stopping process. If we are riding a bike and the wheels are flying round slamming on the brakes suddenly does one thing. Ouch! We go flying over the handle bars. This is why so many people get sick on the second or third day of their holiday - they have slammed the brakes on and fallen over the handle bars into rest.
I have learnt that I need some time to slow - externally & internally. I need to look at the Sport App or website, watch sky sports news, to sit and drink coffee, catch up with the kids or Anna, read the paper, watch a TV program – to just be slower and then still. This is my recovery but God has more for me.
God wants to restore me.
Restoration is where we, on a spiritual level, connect with God. We discover who we are in God – a walk, reading my bible, reflecting on what I am thankful for, listening to worship music, going deeper in conversation with Anna & the kids, being sharpened by close community, times of prayer & reflection. This takes me beyond recovery.
It is not just the absence of anything being given out but it is allowing God to put something back in.
We are restored – our soul, spirit, heart, head, body. We are ‘made new' and made ourselves all over again. What was lost is found again in God. What was given out is returned to us (and in greater measure).
It is this process, as the pendulum peaks and then starts to swing back to work, that helps me to walk out and embrace & fulfill all God has for me.
Too many people just recover and then start again (I am guilty of this many times as I am definitely a 'work in progress'). If you just stop the giving out temporarily and then start again there isn’t anything there to start giving again.
As you set a pace and rhythm to your life make sure you are restored by God as well as recovered from work. What could this look like for you?