Dear Sabbath Seekers,
Remember when Paul wrote the good that I know I should do I don’t….
Well, he wasn’t alone. How come we know the things that will bring us inner peace and calm yet don’t practice it?
Today I got an email from Spirituality and Health listing the top 5 ways to bring about inner calm. Since I can be sucker for an easy fix I read them hoping to find something in that list of 5 that would grab me with a loud “AHA! That’s what I’ve been missing.” Instead, the list consisted of five things I have heard about for years…refocusing your senses, deep breathing, guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and floating thoughts down a stream.
These suggestions have been around longer than I have been getting stressed. And then it dawned on me…
Maybe I should be doing them instead of looking for something new and different!
Which raised another thought…why don’t I do them on a regular basis if they are tried and true? (because in truth I don’t)
Which raised another thought…why don’t I and our very stressed out culture do the things that make for calm instead of complaining about how busy and stressed out we are?
Deep breathing, silent meditation, muscle relaxation have been shown to induce relaxation and relieve stress for thousands of years in all cultures.
And yet we ignore them because they aren’t new enough for our fast paced minds.
Furthermore, I read in the NY Times yesterday that a recent study showed that people would rather give themselves a mild shock than spend 5 minutes alone with themselves reflecting silently on their lives!
God gave us the gift of a 24 hour rest period to restore and refresh ourselves.
And we ignore the commandment on a regular basis. (be honest, we do)
We know what we should be doing to relax and slow down. We just don’t want to do them and it seems we prefer pain to downtime with ourselves.
So the question is what do we get out of not relaxing, not slowing down and not taking a 24 hour Sabbath? Because if there wasn’t a pay off we wouldn’t keep going at this pace.
I’m going to have to think about this question because I know the answer is inside of me. I guess I will have to take those silent minutes to reflect and see what happens. Perhaps the answers I come up with be more shocking than a mild self-administered shock.
How about you?
“I do not understand my actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7.15