Over the past few weeks I have been hearing a similar concept time and time again, a call to rest. God sends messengers here on earth to fulfill His son, Jesus’ mission for the world. His greatest commandment is to love God and love one another, and I believe that messengers are the first responders. These people are with us all the time; physically, emotionally, and always in spirit. When I begin to see a reoccurring theme, I know that messengers are telling me something. It sounds something like…
“Your soul needs to rest”
“We are always in a rush, I choose not to live a busy life”
“You are doing so much, don’t forget to slow down, have a beer, or watch your favorite Netflix show.”
The quotes above are from people in my life that have spoken to me with a direct call to action or something to ponder. It’s been noted, Tyler, you need some rest and relaxation, R&R as we like to say.
Step 1: Listen
We have a tendency to open our mouth and let go whatever urge comes to mind. I can say first hand that I am already looking to get to my next point without even spending time on what I’m saying in the present! To top it off, once someone else starts speaking, I’m hardly focusing because I don’t want to forget what I’m going to say next! This is detrimental because the talk is no longer a conversation, but one giving a speech! People with Type A personality like myself, are always thinking about the future. Especially in D.C., where it seems to be a Type A rat race! I love this quote from Pastor Dave Capozzi, of Brockton Covenant Church, “When I pray, I’m silent….We spend all of our time speaking at God, when God already has a pretty good idea of what we need or want. I think we rarely listen to what God has to say to us..” I feel prompted to say, stop, drop, and listen!
That’s right, it’s a two way street, pal.
Too much I and not enough YOU.
Step 2: Question
I hear what is being spoken to me but how do I actually rest? It’s like people know that ice cream is bad for you but you continue to eat it anyways, who can say no to a nice ice cream cone on a summer evening?
Let me try and think through where I could rest:
6:10 am-6:30 am- Meditate
6:30 am-7:00 am- Make, eat, and clean up breakfast
7:00 am- 7:15 am- Brush teeth, put on work clothes, get ready
7:15 am-8:15 am- Scripture & prayer
8:15 am-8:45 am- Get to work
8:45 am-5:00 pm- Work
5:00 pm-5:20 pm- Get back home
5:20 pm-5:30 pm- Change and get a protein shake
5:30 pm-7:30 pm- Coach (M/W) or Workout (Tu/Th)
7:30 pm-8:30 pm- Make and eat dinner
8:30 pm-8:50 pm- Meditate
8:50 pm-9:30 pm- Read
9:30 pm- Sleep
Where would I be able to rest? My calendar does not permit any additions or replacements for rest. In case you didn’t notice, I hate wasting any time.
Step 3: Act
The answer? Operate on God’s time.
For I NEED God and that beats out everything else. I know that if I put God at the center, then all others will follow. We need to have this as a conviction in our life and then He will do unbelievable things in your life. When our focus is on Him, He starts putting His plan in action. I’m beginning to see that these things are far more immaculate then what I ever had in mind. When I was a junior in college, I had my Fall soccer season all planned out (much like I have my day mapped out), I believed that I would have a more successful season than sophomore year with more goals, assists, and team wins, the statistics that mattered the most to me. I set lofty goals, and soccer was case and point. This sport is so much more than a game to me, but a way of life. That being said, I remember it was the 7th game of the season when a kick to the back of my leg would change my life, forever. I was playing in the outside midfield position when I felt a ding to the back of my calf. It hurt, but my gut reaction was to not think much of it. It took me 15 minutes of playing to realize that this was no bruise. I sat down on the bench, grabbed ice and put it on my leg, and then watched the conclusion of the game. After 20 minutes, I looked back at my leg and it was gigantic! I mean it was like seeing double. The night of the incident, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, told me to go home and come back if it gets worse, apparently, they thought it was a bad bruise. Anyways, at 5 am the next morning, I went back to the hospital and immediately went into surgery for acute compartment syndrome, having them cut open both the lateral and medial sides of my calf. That is a lot different than what I had anticipated. Fast forward another 24 hours and the doctor is talking to me at my bed side.
All I remember is him saying one thing, “We looked into your leg and we could not get any muscle response. We will be coming back in 2 days to see how it progresses. Worst case scenario, we will have to amputate your leg.”
Like Whaaaat?! Are you freaking serious? I was playing soccer and getting ready to have a successful season, what do you mean that my ENTIRE soccer career is now on the line?
God works on His time.
I immediately called my good friend, Josh, and asked him to come visit me in the hospital, I needed something greater, and it was the power of prayer.
That Saturday morning, after going back into surgery, I came back out with stiches. Good news had arrived, all my muscles were functioning properly with only some damaged fibers. It would take me 4-6 months to recover (in my case 3 J) but this was a sign of relief.
The next season I had my personal best season and helped our team to become the most successful Stonehill soccer team in 25 years. God’s timing, man.
Though I feel at ease when I am busy, have goals, deadlines, and performance reviews, I know that it is important to take time to slow down, or in my case, God took it from me, for the better! While setting schedule’s is definitely important for me, I have to be ready to respond when God throws me off track, and be OK with Him doing that.
I believe God just wants to have a conversation with me. It doesn’t have to be planned, it doesn’t have to be formal, it doesn’t have to make sense, He just wants to hear from me.
If you don’t make time, He definitely will. Be willing to accept this gift.
I will rest in you, Lord, and all things will be well.
Tyler Brondyk, Guys Like Us