Welcome to our new guest post series about "time."
How do we use it? Misuse it? Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have? It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment. But how will we spend it? And what values shape how we use it? As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift.
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
That was the advice given to me when my daughter was an infant.
It made sense, and I could do that at night time. But during naps? I didn’t do so well with the advice then.
I looked forward to nap time, but then I was antsy. I thought she would wake up any minute, so I couldn’t relax. And, I felt like I should spend the time doing something, like laundry or cleaning, or something of that nature. So, I went from thing to thing, without accomplishing much of anything.
And when nap time was over, my daughter was well rested…and I was tired.
I didn’t think of resting as doing something, and I wasted the precious quiet time I was given.
I’ve been thinking about this again because I wonder if I’ve changed much.
There are times in life when I feel antsy, like I don’t know what I should be doing. I don’t mean because my “to do” list is so long I don’t know where to start. I mean when it feels like nothing is going on.
When schedules slow down and there is time before a new routine gets underway.
When it feels like God is asking me to lay down my dream, and now I don’t know what I’m working toward.
When I know God has a plan for me, but I have no idea what it is. And God seems silent in giving me a clue.
I feel unsettled and unfocused, and I don’t know what to do with this quiet downtime.
As a society, we’re used to always being busy. Downtime feels uncomfortable, and worse, it’s sometimes viewed as being lazy.
But I remember how I wasted the quiet nap time I had, and I’m starting to see these periods of downtime differently.
This time of waiting for the next thing is not a time of doing nothing.
It’s a time to focus on what God says is important, instead of what the world says.
It’s time to spend with God…growing closer to Him and learning the sound of His voice.
It’s a time for rest, and a time to unwind and recharge.
So then, when the quiet period is over, I’m ready for what comes next.
I’ll know the sound of God’s voice better and how to listen for it. And because I’ve had time to rest with Him, I’m ready to face the next thing that comes my way, not in my own strength, but in His.
I think the advice I was given when my daughter was an infant can be translated…
Rest when God gives you the time and opportunity to rest.
All too soon, life will get busy again. And this time, I don’t want to waste the precious gift of quiet time He gives me.
Laura Rath is a follower of Jesus Christ, a wife, mother, writer, blogger, and works in church ministry. She continues to grow daily in her relationship with Christ and loves the faith journey she’s on. Laura is a monthly contributor for 5 Minutes for Faith, and can be found at Laura Rath ~ Journey in Faith, where she shares from her heart and encourages others in their walk with the Lord.