There is a decided tiredness that seems to settle as the afternoon wanes and evening approaches. The world – bright with motion and brilliance – starts to fade, as night draws near. The fatigue trapped beneath rigid bricks of necessity and immediate action flutters forth, hanging shadows on the walls, the flowers, the chairs.
I have come to experience this ache. With late-night classes and days that seem to drone, a certain restless fatigue seeps through my door. I become keenly aware of my body, of the tightness in my chest, the weight in my hands.
Weight that seems only to incline as the days continue. There is much to question, much to ponder… Plates of worry, plates of hope, plates of uncertainty wait on a table, hidden in my heart. Waiting, as we all wait. Plates waiting to be fulfilled, devoured, or shattered.
My lips whisper why.
But I hear the words of a verse, which drape the inner walls of my soul.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Like the scent of sleep, the touch of cool water, these words settle within me. Rest. Rest for my soul. It seems to me that our culture tends to view exhaustion, anxiety, and the amount of work we take part in as a measurement of our productivity, our capacity. I have viewed it as such, at times. Yet our souls need rest as well.
We need to, as Wendell Berry conveys in “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer’s Liberation Front,” “every day do something that won’t compute.” To learn to value doing nothing.
It takes courage to persevere through the throes of tasks, assignments, lists, but I believe it takes as much courage to rest. To do things that cannot be checked off a to-do list.
To rest away from technology, for healing happens away from the screen.
I have found that even simple tasks such as folding clothes or cleaning my room renew my heart when I focus my attention on these actions. Other ways I’ve found rest during the long evenings have been through stretching, meditating on a few verses, writing letters, journaling, reading, and practicing calligraphy.
So, my friends, dwell in rest. Reach for Christ’s light and easy yolk.
Do something tonight that won’t compute.