Life tends to move forward in short bursts of energy for me. What I mean is that I seem to experience short sprints of busyness, that often border on chaos, followed by times of rest and a considerably slower pace. I think these rhythms of life are a gift from God. I see this rhythm as a fingerprint of God’s handiwork in the changing of seasons; nature reaching a climax of activity, settling into a new mode of operation every few months. This rhythm of activity followed by rest is illustrated beautifully in my daughter’s current favorite book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
A little caterpillar pops out of its egg and begins to eat everything in sight. He works his way through all kinds of fruit and junk food until all he gets a stomach ache. He’s overdone it. At this point all he wants to do is take a nap so he builds a cocoon and holes up for a couple weeks. Rest follows productivity. My favorite part of the story (Claire really loves the junk food part) is when the caterpillar emerges from the cocoon as a butterfly. Both the work and the rest have prepared this creature for the next stage of his journey.
I have been reflecting on the busyness of my life that has taken place over the last few months (which is partially responsible for the lack of posts here at The Green Couch) and I think I’m finally settling in to the rhythm of rest. I think the fact that I have actually had time to reflect at all is the signal that I am entering into this place. I even made a list of things I’ve done in these past few months and wrote down some goals for the next few.
I used to get pretty bummed during the down time, feeling kind of useless or bored, but I’m finally beginning to enjoy it. Slowing down allows me to be refreshed and gain new perspective on the place I’ve come from. It helps me to move forward prepared to encounter new challenges with confidence and energy. Rest and a slower pace helps me to experience the joy in the everyday stuff of life.
Rest. Peace. Stillness. Slowing down. These are gifts that help me to hear God and give him room to prepare me for what’s next. It’s easy to forget this rhythm in the break-neck-pace of the culture we live in. But when I remember to play along, I’m always better for it. I’m looking forward to seeing what pops out of the cocoon. I hope it’s as beautiful as that butterfly.