Have you ever felt like you need a vacation from your vacation? You go away, you play hard, you see the sights, you eat a ton, swim, sun, read, relax, play some more, then return home. But as soon as you walk in the door, reality sets back in. Your mind cranks back up to its normal 90 mph as you dive right back into your hectic world. It’s sometimes exhausting returning from a relaxing vacation.
I just got back from spending about a week in Florida and it was fabulous. We did all the things I mentioned above, and yes…when I arrived back home, the whirlwind began. This past week, in the midst of the busyness of life, I have paused for brief moments, intentionally steering my mind back toward the beach, the sand, the calming sound of the waves. For me, it’s been a brief respite in the rat race of reality.
I think it’s a gift God gives us—to take our minds back to a space, place, or time that was peaceful, beautiful, or at least far less chaotic. We stop, close our eyes, breathe deeply, and travel through a bevy of mental images until we settle on the most placid picture. And for a short time, it’s heavenly.
I wonder if this was what the Psalmist was doing when he wrote “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7, NIV). It’s as if he’s intentionally trying to steer his mind, his soul, back to a moment of rest. It’s like he’s telling himself to go back to a state or condition of repose. And I love the reason he gives: because God has been good.
The entire chapter of Psalm 116 is actually really cool. It speaks of God’s grace, compassion, and goodness. When we stop to think about it, even in the midst of our busy lives, God is indeed good.
Today…this week…as you feel yourself stretched in a jillion different directions, as the demands of life hem you in and your mind races, recall the words of the Psalmist. Steer your mind, your heart, your soul back to a moment of rest. Sometimes, in the rat race of reality, we do have to force a speed bump in order for us to slow down. Perhaps the Psalmist was doing just that…
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”