“The Long Forgotten Art of Tranquility” (Rest: part 1)

We know we need it, but avoid it. We crave it, but fill ourselves with something else. We revere people who take advantage of it, but aren’t convicted enough to follow suit.

It is:

REST.

SABBATH.

CALMNESS.

SERENITY.

DOWNTIME.

We binge watch Netflix for hours, and hit the pause button when we’ve had enough, but do we “stop” to listen to our soul, our thoughts, and the advice of others. My neighbor sometimes stands by his mailbox, waiting for his Amazon packages, when they are scheduled to arrive on a Sunday. The world never rests.

Sometimes, God takes things away when we refuse to stop. Job said “The Lord gave me what I had and the Lord has taken it away.” (1:21, NLT) God loves us more than our obsession with the life we’ve created for ourselves. He’s more concerned with changing us than what the growth process feels like. Is one of our idols the desire to be free of discomfort?

We don’t grow when we’re comfortable.

I was terminated from a company (after working there 13 years) the same day the Coronavirus Lockdown began on March 23, 2020. I was promoted three months prior, and two weeks before I was let go, I was recognized at a virtual town hall meeting.

On April 12, 2020, a F3 tornado with 145 mph winds dropped in our Chattanooga, Tennessee area and we took in relatives for eight days.

We don’t grow when we’re comfortable.

I knew I was headed into a season of discomfort when I was told to call my boss that fateful day in March, but I didn’t know growth and blessings, coupled with anxiety, would last a quarter of the year.

However, God knew. He perceived I needed a Sabbath, after working long days, nights, and weekends.

God also knew I wasn’t going to hit the brakes. He intervened.

We don’t grow when we’re comfortable.

After the shock of realizing my life changed, something beautiful happened.

The dark circles under my eyes from working on my laptop slowly vanished. My wife and I engaged in deep conversations as we walked 2.5 miles every evening. I lost 12 pounds and filled up three more journals, emptying feelings of anxiety. I stayed close to God by seeking Him daily and fell in love with the Gospel of Luke. We paid off five debts. I painted a watercolor. House projects were completed leisurely, instead of hurriedly. I discovered nature, like the Moth Hummingbird.

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After four months of acquiring rest and tranquility, I came back to life, ready to face a new job.

You won’t grow when you’re comfortable.

If you’re too comfortable to grow, don’t be surprised “if” God intervenes on your behalf. He knows feeling comfortable is important to you, but He won’t let your comfort and feelings override His divine purposes. He loves you too much.

Taking a Sabbatical is as forgotten as taking a Sunday drive, but needed for our physical, emotional, and spiritual survival. Slow down. Take a rest. It’s good for the soul.

Click below to watch “Sunday Drive” videos from country artist Brett Eldredge.

pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”

4 thoughts on ““The Long Forgotten Art of Tranquility” (Rest: part 1)

  1. Wow! Didn’t know any of this. God always has a BETTER plan for us than we could even imagine. Can’t wait to see HIS next chapter for your life, Nelson!

  2. Perfect description of my life !!!!! This devotional could not have been an easy one for you to write but you have hit the nail on the head. Can’t wait to share it with others! Thank you a million times over for sharing this. Am praying for you today as you train for your new job! Love and appreciate you more than you will ever know!

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About nelsonhaynes500words

My name is William-Nelson-Haynes. I mentioned my full name because I want to share more than just two-thirds of me. Since life is a journey, it is my hope that this blog keeps you from feeling alone. Please check out my background, education and experience in "The Writer" part of the Menu on the top left-hand corner of the home page. Other Menu items you can scroll through are the Authors who influenced me, Magazine Articles I write for Good News Magazine, the Top 15 books that affected me spiritually, and the other hobbies that also make me come alive.