Rest for your soles, rest for your soul.

15 Sep
Toes at rest after a polished year and a half.

I hardly recognize that foot. No Polish! First time in 18 months! But the nail beds needed a break. They were showing signs of underlying damage — spots, ridges, scratches. I’ve been aware of that troubling development for the past few months. But, it’s summer in So Cal where, for better or worse, everybody sees everybody’s feet. I just set aside the issue and polished away. There were sandals to be worn, people — gotta put my best foot forward!

Ever done that in life? Ignored some cautionary signs — of fatigue, of exhaustion, of fragility, or just plain not feeling well — in order to do what needs to be done? I certainly have. There’s definitely merit in rising to the occasion, donning the best face, and focusing on the positive so we can serve, minister, bless (or just get through the day!) In defense of pressing on, honestly, if we let every fear or worry trip us up the past year and a half, we would have done nothing at all (except, maybe, our nails!) 

BUT, putting on that “everything is awesome” facade so much that we continually overlook the “cracks” can break us. Without the occasional step back, even those things we love to do, the things that make us feel alive and in control and accomplished and allow us to bless others, when done while ignoring underlying troubles, can bring us down. How do the cracks show up for you? For me, signs that trouble is afoot (ahem) include grumbling internally when I serve. A bitterness when I step to the front “yet again” (that’s bitter me talking) to lead, or host or organize. When I’m short-tempered, resentful, seeking to numb out….Did I miss any of your go-tos?

So, what are we to do? It’s mid-September, for goodness’ sake! Agreed, not exactly known for restfulness, the start of fall can be busy. But what if the cracks are already starting to form? Where will you be come Thanksgiving? Christmas?

It doesn’t even have to be an acetone-fueled hard stop. Perhaps a step back from going above and beyond (store-bought baked goods…a house that’s not perfectly decorated or clean…a quiet moment with the Lord even though the to-do list is looming large…a coffee break with a friend where you can bare your soul (if not your soles)…an afternoon off of work to spend quietly and reflectively. Maybe, for you, just a trip to the nail salon. 

Even the Triune God takes breaks — both in Heaven and on Earth — not out of need, but out of wisdom. (See God’s calendar for the seventh day.) So us mortals? Yeah, even the most can-do spirit needs room to say, “Today, I can’t.” A moment, or a day, or a season, to rest. Simplify. Strip down the veneer. Replenish. Breathe. And then come back stronger, with a facade that is matched by the inner beauty and high polish of a well-rested soul.

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