My older daughter took a soccer ball to the head on Saturday night. After a day of headaches, we decided to take her to the doctor yesterday. Diagnosis: concussion.
In all the years my girls have played sports, we've never had a serious injury. Oh, we've sprained ankles and hurt fingers. We've applied our share of ice and ace bandages, but we've never had an injury that required them to miss more than a game or a practice. My daughter is out for at least two weeks with this concussion.
The prescription for a concussion is rest -- total rest. She's not supposed to do anything. No TV. No reading. No video games. No texting. Nothing that requires physical activity or higher-level thinking. Her brain has been hurt, and now it needs to rest.
It's really hard for my daughter to rest like that. She's an active kid who doesn't even really like to sit and watch TV for very long. She likes to be out doing things. Keeping her in a state of rest is difficult. She's bored and wants to push the limits. I want her to heal.
The truth is that it doesn't matter what our ailment is, rest is always a healer. Whether we're physically sick or simply heartsick, resting our weary bodies and souls always improves the situation. A good night's sleep can shed new light on a sticky situation. Rest can help us recuperate from illness.
God knew that. That's why He stuck a day of rest into the week. God didn't need to rest after He created the world. He doesn't get tired. Yet, He chose to set an example for us because He knew that we would need rest. God offers us rest for our bodies and for our souls. He offers peace and healing if we only take the time to stop moving and rest in His arms.
Isaiah 40:30-31 promises "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Our children learn to how to rest by watching us. If they never see us taking a break to renew our bodies and our souls, they will never learn to do so themselves. The priority you place on rest is the priority you are teaching your children to place on rest. If your schedule is packed so full that you have no time to spend with God, no time to rest your body, no time for your family to just relax, then you're teaching your kids to value busyness more than God, more than health and more than family -- and that's probably not the message you're intending to send.
Spend some time today thinking about the priority you place on rest and what you're teaching your kids about resting their bodies and their souls. Then decide if that's really what you want to be teaching them.