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A Sunday. Chicago weather was tougher than usual. My drive to church first required me to unearth my car from a heap of snow. Then came an hour and a half drive to church. The drive would normally be under an hour, but this day required a slow drive, with me gripping the steering wheel to keep my car steady. There was time at church; then another drive back with more snow, me sitting stiffly the entire time to maximize control over my car – a little over an hour.

Even with all this, I was determined that the weather wouldn’t be a hindrance to my plans. I had planned to get to the library once I got home to do some personal work. So I set about doing that. I changed to my jeans and hulky boots, and I hit the road running. I hadn’t even reached the end of my block when God asked me: “When do you rest?” I paused… I drove much slower now, thinking on the question.

I tried to reason around it. Well I rested yesterday…no during the week…No..um, I’ll rest when I get back. Really though, when I thought back on my week, all I could remember were late nights of work. And here I was about to do more work. And yes, it was work that I enjoy. But the truth is, in all my plans for the 168 hours of the week, I hadn’t planned time to rest.

Good lesson, right? Thou shalt rest. Here’s more. For me, this wasn’t just about resting; it was about trusting. I’ll explain. A new year’s here, and I have a vision of what my year looks like. In times past (before I met Christ), I pursued my vision and goals at the expense of everything else — relationships, rest, even my health. And yes, I achieved my goals but it was entirely on my own strength. It eventually backfired on me — hardcore. The root of my drive was fear of failure. And I let fear sucker punch me over and over and over…until finally I said no more.

The day I gave my life to Christ was also the day I stepped into His grace: His limitless ability overshadowing my limited abilities. I have God’s help! (Yeesh! ) So I can never fail — ever. I don’t need to carry on my life like it’s all on my own strength. It’s on His. Therefore, when He invites me to rest, to enjoy, I can confidently accept the invitation. Resting would not prevent me from meeting my goals. And it surely wouldn’t kill me.

So what did I do that afternoon? I did a U-turn and headed back home. I grabbed some snacks, plopped on the couch, and watched a movie. I even let myself fall asleep in front of the TV. I would trust that God will help me complete all that is required of me. In the meantime, I would rest. Monday had a whole 24 hours available.

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  • Maryam Garba

    Fantastic article! I love it!

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