This is not a guilt trip. It’s just something that I’m observing in my own life lately. We are all hard-wired to need rest. It’s always fascinated me that when we were created, it was with a huge physical limitation: our bodies need sleep and rest daily. That is surely by design and I don’t think God did that on accident. Every day, we must sleep and we must rest. Or we’ll be a little bonkers.
I’ve made my disclaimer, so now here’s my main point: Downtime can be different from rest. This is time when we’re taking it easy, hanging out, and it’s usually with some kind of passive activity, like TV or computer surfing, or reading. What I’ve been noticing about myself is that downtime can be a supreme waste or it can be valuable time invested for my soul, heart, and mind. Reminder: I’m not guilt-tripping myself or anyone else. Having the last couple months of my life with lots of physical limitations, I’ve been homebound or couch-bound a LOT. That means a whole lot of downtime, and it’s gotta be filled with something!
Here’s what got me thinking about it. Someone asked me what my days looked like when I’m stuck at home because I’m not well. On some days, I’ll surf the internet for hours, perusing Pinterest and DIY blogs. I’ll detour into all kinds of interesting cyber-places. I don’t watch a ton of TV unless it’s the weekend. But boy, on the weekend, if I’m homebound, you better betcha I’m checking out episodes of my favorite shows On Demand! These are the things I naturally and passively do, without really thinking about what I’m doing.
Other days, I will have the passing thought that it actually matters what goes into my brain and what my eyes see. On this kind of day, I’ll listen to sermons of pastors that I respect, I’ll read and practice memorizing portions of the Bible, and be intentional with downtime. Last week I ran across this short video that explains the value of meditation and memorizing Scripture. It fired me up and got me excited to tackle some larger portions of the Bible to memorize. Check it out.
Since watching it, I’m working on Psalm 46. Piper’s point is true, that God speaks through our mediation of Scripture. It has been meaningful on so many occasions since I started. Try it, it’s fun!