We have been trained since infancy to strive. To strive for effectiveness and productivity.
Look he walked at 10 months
Look she won her race at the school sports carnival
Look she learned how to ride a bike
Look they bought their first house
Achieving or output maximizing is the goal. 'Make this life count' is the narrative. Of course, this dialogue infiltrates into our faith culture.
Look my prayer got answered
Look I got baptised
Look I am ordained
Look Look look at what I achieved!
We are living in this output-based life while we neglect the deep satisfaction of input. The quiet sense of glory when no one is watching. The beauty found in creating an attitude of goodness inwards. Beautiful because it brings us forward to feel a real sense of being loved by God and of loving ourselves. This sense of peace is quickly ripped away when we take this and trade it off for ‘output‘points. Like a generous credit card reward system, we strive to build up points. Occasionally making choices in order to get the extra points. Travelling on a flight or buying stuff that you didn’t really want just in order to get the 2500 points for future pleasure. We become stockbrokers and our time of input a commodity to be traded for a quick future gain instead of valuable for now.
Our psyche is flooded with well-meaning people giving us messaging equating to ‘Your Output is determined by your Input.’ And so we strive even in our quiet time. Investing in rest? The prayer time or meditation or the good eating or the exercise is not felt as a value in itself but is purely part of the striving to get results. Subtle pressure to make ALL things count.
Consider. Let it go. Eat well to eat well. Pray to Be. Quiet yourself just in order to enjoy the silence.
Look in order to see
Listen in order to hear
Walk in order to move
Rest is not an investment for future gain at its core. It is rest because we are designed by God to need it.
Find the true rest.