Permission to Sit Down
The hum of fall is often filled with activity. With soccer practice, football games, new work endeavors, and anticipation of the holidays, our days seem to be stuffed to the brim with many good things. This time of year excites me. I love the adventures and opportunities that await each day. Yet, I tend to busy myself with too many things. The FOMO is real.
Although I am fairly extroverted, in the hustle of fall I find myself craving alone time. I just want to sit down and drink something yummy, BY MYSELF. I don’t want anyone to ask me for anything. I just want to be still. In the weighing of this need welling up inside me, I am realizing I have been learning this lesson for years: My most profound moments with Jesus have often happened in a chair. I say it to myself again, “Sitting down can be the holiest thing I can do,” for in the bending to sit is the reminder of who is God and who is not. In the act of stilling myself I find an opportunity to acknowledge the presence of God in the midst of my day. When I remember His majesty and His greatness, I can put my schedules and struggles in a holy perspective.
“My most profound moments with Jesus have often happened in a chair. “
This is all good and true, yet finding the time and a seat to sit upon can be a battle. For victory to be ours we must realize a few things and then take some specific action.
We must realize that this practice of sitting is not only for our own benefit.
At first read, you may argue that this is an invitation to laziness. Quite the contrary, my friend. This discipline of collapsing into a chair reaps the reminder that you have been equipped and empowered to carry out your assignments for the day. As a mother, these moments of sitting and inviting Him to meet me in my chair, cause me to teach, guide and discipline with a greater perspective. My responses are gentler and my children see the difference. For each in her own circumstances, the pause in His presence can offer a heart reset: a chance to repent, a nudge to forgive, a space for creativity to flourish.
We must do it more than once.
I love the words to the popular song, “In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus.” However, I need Jesus just as much around 2pm. When my physical body begins to crash, the wear and tear of the day have had their way with me, when I crave sugar and caffeine, give me Jesus. The days I choose to step away for 5 minutes and curl up in a soft space are different. Sometimes I listen to a hymn, or read a chapter in an encouraging book. Other days I just sit and simply whisper, “Help me see You in all of this.” I take deep breaths with closed eyes. After a few minutes I stand up again but now with the reminder He is with me in everything I am about to face.
We must prioritize the space.
I have chair with a little side table where I go in the morning and then at least one more time each day. The days I find myself in it three times are the best. But baby steps. Wherever it happens for a person, the prioritizing will cause consistency. Just like the sugar and caffeine you will find yourself craving your space, both the physical space and the space in your schedule. With different circumstances and limitations some out of the box thinking may be required. Perhaps your space is on a lunch break in your car. Keep a bag with a book, pen, and journal in the back seat. Maybe you are home with small children and “space” is hardly an option in your season. Pay attention to the rhythms of your day. Find the quiet moments: the shower, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse time, the unexpected car nap, feeding the baby. Don’t squander these minutes on a device. Use them to sit. I’m teaching my kids (albeit, slowly) when they see me in my chair that I am spending a few minutes with Jesus. Unless they are in dire need of medical attention, please respect mommy’s space….it will be better for you if you do!
We must remember we are in this together
We need to be each other’s cheerleaders in this effort. We must remind one another rest is not laziness. They are two different things. Finding a rhythm of rest will allow us to be the best version of ourselves. Somedays we may need permission. Somedays we may need a gentle reminder. Habits have a better chance of sticking when they are formed with a community. Who will you come around this cause with? Who needs this practice in their lives as much as you do? Find those people and do this together.
In a world where the badge of busyness has been revered and respected I want to flip the script. If you are looking for permission to sit down, here it is. May we be people who recognize that it is not us who cause the earth to spin or travel around the sun. It is not us who breathe life afresh into humanity everyday. No, we are generously invited into a greater story. May we play our parts well but never deceive ourselves into thinking the weight of the world lies on our shoulders. He already bore that weight on the cross. We are offered a light burden and gentle and easy yoke, my friend. Take a seat and remember who is carrying you.
We want to hear from you! What are some ways you implement rest into your days, weeks, months and years? Share some tips. Let’s learn from one another.