The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 1, 2013

Settle that restless heart and refuel with Him

By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News and Eagle

(This column previously was published in June 2012)

Just breathe.

You’re probably scratching your head or muttering under your breath, “Of course, I’m breathing, you dummy.” Obviously you must be breathing if you are reading this column.

What I’m trying to get at is more than the act of breathing.

I was just talking with a friend about this topic. We decided neither of us have had a moment to breathe.

Yes, we involuntarily are breathing, but we haven’t stopped in our crazy busy lives to take a deep breath and relax for a moment. We’ve forgotten about that whole stop-and-smell-the-roses thing.

Work is calling, spouse needs your attention, children cry for help, church wants volunteers for the ministry, food must be cooked and clothes must be cleaned, the house is dirty, the lawn is taller than a forest, work is calling again … and the list goes on.

Have you really taken a moment to rest? Furthermore, have you really taken a minute to rest in the Lord?

And I ain’t talking about that quick “scarf down a Scripture and send up a prayer” while running out the door in the morning.

I mean an honest-to-goodness break from fast-paced race. Scheduling a real recess for yourself — remember how we loved that part of our childhood along with naptime? Making time to sit down at the feet of Jesus in quiet awe or maybe you’re more of a sit-in-His-lap kind of person.

We don’t take time to rest ourselves because we feel like it is dawdling or being idle when there are oodles and oodles of responsibilities piled up. To what end do we keep chugging along without refueling? Our human bodies require restoration and refreshment in order to maintain.

Christ himself knew it was critical to spend time with the Father and he would steal away to the garden or other quiet place. He recognized it was necessary to rest and He told His followers they needed to rest in Him, to draw strength from Him.

Ever notice how frustrated or run down you feel when you don’t carve out time to relax? You are not yourself and you end up mentally chastising yourself for missteps and misbehavior. It is all because you didn’t take the time to prepare yourself for the day or the night with a few calming minutes of spiritual breathing.

We don’t have to spend money or request leave to make this happen. It is as simple as decisively taking 30 minutes or 1 hour without interruption to be alone. Turn off the cell phone, close the door and curl up on the couch. If you prefer the outdoors, go sprawl on the grass in the back yard or in the patio chair. Bring your Bible (go straight to the Source, skip the distracting devotionals) for a quiet read and meditation or bring your iPod for a time of praise.

We all need to take time to be still and know He is God. Settle that restless heart and bow down before the Prince of Peace. Consider all He has done, stand in awe and be amazed, know He will never change, listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love. — Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Be Still And Know”

Make a point to just breathe.

Follow Ruth Ann Replogle on Facebook at http://www.face or email her at justholdon