Overwhelm is overrated.
Spending Sunday morning looking over your shoulder at what you didn’t finish during the previous week robs you of Sunday’s Joy. Looking ahead to Monday and all that you need to accomplish the rest of the week can overwhelm you. Do both and you’ll miss out on Sunday altogether!
What would happen if you designated Sunday as a NO WORK ZONE? Would you fall woefully behind on all of your to-do lists? Would the week ahead fall apart before it even began?
OR . . .
Would you refuel, reconnect, and allow yourself to be restored?
One Sunday evening I sent a text to a friend asking how she was doing? Part of her response included . . .
“Just trying to catch up. Feeling overwhelmed.”
I could feel her fatigue as I read on. You know that worn out feeling, too.
You had high hopes that you’d be further along in the studies that you’re doing for school. Or maybe you thought you would have already completed some personal project you started. Whatever task you’ve been working on is incomplete, so you’re dragging around trying to muster the energy and focus to get the job done.
It won’t work. It never does. You have to refuel.
And Sundays are the perfect way to do that.
Sundays are all about rest
There are different kinds of rest, and I’ll get to other types of rest later in this post. The refueling rest is all about you. What will refill your tank so that you can arise on Monday morning ready to take on whatever the week brings? Here are some of my favorites.
- Spend some time answering questions from the Bible study you neglected during the week
- Soak in a hot bath with a soothing combination of salts and essential oils
- Read encouraging devotionals, inspirational blogs, or entertaining books
- Catch up (joyfully, not judgmentally) on your Bible reading plan
- Stretch out and just be horizontal for an extended length of time
- Listen to good music
What does real rest on Sunday really look like?
Recently, on a Saturday morning, I started an online project that I believed would take only a few hours. At bedtime that night I was wailing in frustration because the project was incomplete. I had run into a road block I simply could not get around. Every mode of assistance I had sought had failed, and my mind was out of ideas.
Except for one.
A deceptive little thought came into my mind suggesting that I wake up early on Sunday morning and get right back to trying to solving the problem I was stuck on until I was able to completely finish the project.
Thankfully, years of abuse recovery had developed a wiser and louder voice in my head. No way was I going to ruin my Sunday with attempting to meet a goal so frustrating that I couldn’t reach it no matter how hard I tried . . . ALL DAY Saturday!
Instead of setting my alarm clock for an all-too early hour, I contacted the friend I had leaned on for support, told her not to mention the project to me at all on Sunday, and trusted that (with God’s grace) I would deal with the issue successfully on Monday.
Then, I faithfully refueled my tank on Sunday.
On Monday, I arose to my usual routine. Guess what happened when I sat down to work on my laptop? A straightforward and painless solution to Saturday night’s overwhelming problem suddenly occurred to me!
I refueled on Sunday. My mind rested. And on Monday, I had the fresh perspective I needed to accomplish my goal.
Take time to refuel on Sundays. Your productivity on Monday will thank you.
Reconnection with trusted friends is really important. Use Sundays to connect with like-minded adults and be sure to talk about things other than your weekday overwhelm.
Reconnecting makes for a restful Sunday
- Church can be a fantastic place to reconnect.
- Lunch with friends afterward is a good opportunity to laugh and relax.
- Hospital or home visits to friends and family uplift their spirits and yours.
- Make a call to a loved one who lives far way. Be a listening ear and get out of your muddled thinking.
A word of caution:
Reconnection is not about running yourself ragged trying to have a good time. Reconnection is not about running errands either.
Be smart and limit your hours out so that you don’t have to physically recover from too much time being busy. Reconnect, but don’t run yourself ragged.
Reconnection reminds you that you are more than what you do all week. You are funny. You are fun! And you are encouraging to other people at the same time you are being encouraged by them.
Reconnect and you’ll feel much less alone in the world when you set out to slay whatever dragons Monday morning may throw at you.
Allow yourself to be restored on Sunday. God sees everything. He notes which parts of you are lacking.
And just like a grocery that’s been nearly gutted by hungry shoppers, you’ve got “shelves” void of what you’ll need to continue working in future days.
Allow God to literally re-store you. He will restock your “shelves” with precisely what you need.
Restoration is too big a task for you. God has to do it. Be still so that He will.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.’ ”
Matthew 2:27, New Living Translation
Don’t let your Sunday schedule include prep time for the week ahead. Don’t set aside time to catch up on what you didn’t get done during the previous week.
When you do, you run the risk of making church an item on your to-do list. It’s not. Church is the place you go to join others, who—just like you—seek to worship God in spirit and in truth.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10, New King James Version
The first part of this verse is pretty well known. The second part, not so much. Probably because too many of us aren’t still long enough to acknowledge the greatness of our God. That doesn’t mean that God isn’t powerful. It means that we don’t take the time to recognize His power.
And that’s exactly why overwhelm happens.
When we let our busy, busy work week take all of our attention all week long, we don’t stop to acknowledge that God is in control. When we don’t acknowledge that God is in control, we seek to control things ourselves. When we seek to control things ourselves, we get overwhelmed.
Stop the cycle of overwhelm. Give up one day each week. Give up, studying, working, worrying, fixing, controlling—for just one day. For most of us that’ll be Sunday.
It’s a sort of sacrifice.
It’s an absolute statement of trust.
When you take Sunday off, you give up control for one day. You get out of your own way. And you get to see what God will do, exalted above the earth.
- Be refueled in church and out of church.
- Reconnect with others in church and out of church.
- Be restored in church and out of church.
Reclaim Sunday as your gift from God for the sake of real worship and worthwhile rest.