By: Ginger Hughes

Our family is enjoying a fun-filled vacation at the beach this week.  We’ve walked on the beach, played in the surf, eaten delicious seafood, visited a planetarium, indulged in one too many ice cream cones, built a sand “mountain,” and even read some books.  And though we’ve also schlepped our way through the sand hauling 27 pounds of beach paraphernalia, and a couple of sometimes-whining children, all in all, it’s been wonderful.

But while we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time, we’ve also found it hard to fully relax at times. We find ourselves asking, “What should we do next?”  Since we don’t vacation often, we want to make each moment count; we want to make it perfect.  In an effort to see all the sights and do all of the recommended activities, we leave little room for rest.  And let’s be honest: this is not simply an issue we face during weeks designed to be restful, but it’s a source of frustration in our day to day lives as well.

We run the rat race of life in an effort to “live the dream.” We work harder with the misconstrued idea that if we have more we’ll finally be happy.  We chase perfection and accomplishments thinking these will bring joy and peace. And the sad truth is this: while we’re busy chasing dreams that will one day turn to ash, we often miss out on simply being:

Being still.

Being quiet.

Being restful.

Being peaceful.

Being worshipful.

Being present.

In the twentieth chapter of Exodus, God’s word reminds us to, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh days is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”  Scripture teaches us that even God rested after creation; yet somehow, we feel exempt from this critical component of scripture.  We often think of it as merely a thoughtful suggestion, rather than an actual command.  But what if God knew what God was doing when He included this in the Ten Commandments?  What if the act of resting is a vital component of a Christian’s life?

For you see, when we rest our minds from the day, we may be able to center our thoughts on God.

When we rest our bodies from the day, we may be able to renew our strength to continue as God calls.

When we rest our weary souls from the day, we may be able to connect with God personally, just as God desired from the very beginning.

So instead of feeling guilty about a moment of relaxation, allow God to use it to speak to you, to encourage you, and to replenish your soul.

I’ve only got a few days left on my vacation. Perhaps it is time for me to slow down, and rest awhile.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.

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