Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Productive Rest

Coming from a lifetime of being too hard on myself, one of my latest struggles is about being productive.

Like every obsessive-compulsive control freak, I have come to measure my days by accomplishments. I am seldom at peace unless my task list gets updated with a few checks everyday. I am distressed, guilty, and unhappy in between days of accomplishment, whether at work, and apparently, even at rest.

I am on a couple of week's break before I re-assume the detail-oriented position of being court attorney. Therefore, I should be, literally, taking a break.

So I visited my brother and sister-in-law in Singapore, my first international trip in almost two years, and immersed myself in window-shopping, mall-hopping, and cuisine-tasting.

But then I got back home and faced my cluttered room. Waiting for me were my suits for dry cleaning, books for reading, stuff for writing (two for Lingkod), lessons for finalizing, and other piles waiting to be discovered.

My state of mind is reflected in this mess. I have this habit of stashing things- and thoughts - until I'm ready to sort them out and file them properly, either in the keep, recycle, repair, or giveaway bins.

Rest has scriptural basis, my friends remind me. I should not be guilty for not being productive - whatever that means. If my body needs to rest, my mind needs to process, and my heart needs to ponder, then I should listen and respond, rather than resist, and push myself to do things that I do not exactly want, or need, to do. Like going out.

I have responsibilities and my prayer is that I can fulfill them in the order of urgency. Otherwise, I will try not to be guilty for slowing down, taking time for myself, and not publishing a paper, writing a book, or composing a song (as if I were in the habit of doing those things, but just to illustrate).

Sometime soon too, I hope to reconnect to my God. To ask Him my questions. To sit with Him, even if I don't understand His answers. To surrender to Him my worries. To express my gratitude. To listen. I have not done that, or enough of that, in a long time. I know I should do that first. I may have forgotten how, in my busyness with all things of far less importance.

I wish that God would come to me, and speak to me, and embrace me now. Perhaps that is the motivation that I need to make sense of the chaos that I have surrounded myself with. Yes, His Word, His assurance, His presence, that is all the rest that I'll ever need.

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