Procrastination, survival, and the quiet heart.

My, oh, my, where has February gone? I missed it by a day…I procrastinated and I missed it by a day. I told myself that I would write on here at least once a month. That’s not hard, right? I mean, anyone can sit down and right a little blog post once a month, right? Alas, my procrastination skills are still as sharp as ever.
February wasn’t so much of a whirlwind as it has been just kind of like this whole winter has been…rather long and somewhat…dreary? Life has been busy. When is it not? Snow days quietly tucked at home have turned into early mornings and long hours at the café. So tired. (Seriously, I think I must be old! Last night I legitimately spent a large portion of my Friday evening taking a nap! I laid down after supper and woke up at 9:30!)
So how does one find joy when your just tired? Somehow I don’t think this is a problem specific to me. Somehow I think most of us are just tired. I know for me, the idea of looking for a deep and substantive joy when your exhausted isn’t very appealing. It’s so much easier to look for the counterfeit and second-rate substitutes that are infinitely easier to grab. It’s easier to stick in a movie or watch a tv show than read a book of substance. It’s easier to spend time on Facebook instead of going out for coffee with a friend. Why do we avoid the very things that we KNOW in our hearts will bring the greatest rest and fulfillment?
It’s funny, but the things that bring my heart the most rest are the very things that feel like they take the most effort. For me, writing is one of those things. I have to make myself do it, but when the process is taking place and then completed, I feel so much more fulfilled than when I allowed my time to be sucked up with passive and mindless activities.
We want gratification that is quick and easily accessible. “Feel good” that doesn’t take effort. We enjoy only music, art, and literature that doesn’t require much thought but still incites the senses. The catchy pop tune that bounces off the ear with its predictable chord progression instead of a “classical” piece that our ear doesn’t understand and might take effort to appreciate. Could it be that we are really cheating ourselves out of something profoundly beautiful? In our laziness we are missing…joy?
Joy. It’s there. I know it is. Beauty. I know it’s there, but I have to learn how to find it. I have to learn how to look.
I have come to the conclusion that having a quiet heart is the key to finding beauty in the everyday grind. So often we rush through our days, spinning from one thing to the next while never consciously making the decision to stop and look closely and deeply for the beautiful.
Things are so much easier and life is so much more fulfilling when you have a quiet heart. For me, obtaining that quiet heart is often a battle in itself. Why does it seem that true rest takes a battle? Hebrews talks about the necessity of laboring to enter into rest. But it won’t always be this way…no, it won’t! We have the promise that there will be a rest. And even here–even in this imperfect and blighted world, when we make the conscious effort to gaze on the Face of Jesus, we realize that this is where rest truly lies. By His grace, HE brings quietness, and little gifts of beauty if we only take the time to stop, look, and receive.

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