The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Rest is an essential part of life, and rest necessitates our personal attention as a priority for mental and spiritual health reasons. How many times have you ignored your body’s natural signs to take a break? I know I have. For some reason, I often feel a strong need to get one more task on my to-do list completed when it can probably wait until the next day. I put that pressure on myself. I am the only person who can alleviate this stressful, overbearing feeling by taking a moment to rest.
I can decide to center myself one more time for rest and recollection of what matters most, or I can stress over the completion of one more task. Through prayer, meditation, writing, taking a walk, and sleeping, I try to remember what truly is important to me. Those first strong reminders would be my own family, especially Lisa, my wife, and Annabelle, my baby girl, and additionally my relationship with Jesus.
With quality family time, several jobs, four courses full-time as a Ph.D. student, church activities, and exercising regularly, I struggle to keep up with everything I think I "need to do." More often than not these things can wait. They do not need to be done right this second.
Sometimes these things should wait so I can rest right now. Then I will recharge and perhaps have more energy to focus on the tasks at hand, thus completing them faster than originally intended.
In my last moment, when I die, I am probably not going to remember when I finished that last tedious difficult project. Typically one does not say, “I sure am glad I got my grocery shopping done.” Or perhaps, “Man, I am glad I took out the trash, so my house does not stink.” No, you will remember times with family, spiritual break-through moments with God, and once-in-a-lifetime trips around the world. No one says, “I am glad I got my chores done before this final second.”
Holding my daughter while she sees bison gallop across the plains of Yellowstone for the first time will be what I remember. Perhaps it will be the first time she feels, tastes, and plays in the snow, or a blog entry that touches the lives of my readers. It probably will not be my latest academic research study I am bragging to angels about when I go to heaven. I think you get the idea.
I challenge you to relax for a moment. Take a deep breath. Thank God for the present moment you currently live in. Drink your favorite microbrewery cold beer and chill out on the beach with toes in the sand. Show yourself grace because grace in the God-sized memories will be what you remember when you go home to heaven, not those regular mundane everyday tasks. Remember what you truly believe matters right now. What matters to me is that Annabelle also creates her God-sized moments. Focus on these things in the present. What truly makes you happy in your most joyous times today? Remember you have a legacy to live and a legacy to leave behind for those who really know you. What will others say or remember about the person you are? What will your own personal thoughts be on your final day?
Here are some of the latest Annabelle photos for your viewing enjoyment.