Zoomies and Naps

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ( Matthew 11: 28,29)

“You can love what you do and still be tired” (A meme I saw on Social Media and I honestly have no idea where it came from).

For the past week or so my grand-kitty, Clara, has had a friend over by the name of Holly.  Holly is this pretty little calico cat whose parents are away on vacation.  Holly is a busy soul.  She wants to be into everything, follows me around the house and trips me up winding around my legs.  She chatters at the birds and the squirrels outside and will chase Clara and Gabby (my dog; who’s smaller than Holly!) around the house with great delight and abandon.

Clara and Gabby are not impressed.  Gabby deals with this busy cat by ignoring her, sticking closely to my side, and generally looking at me with great big and very sad eyes, as if she’s saying “What have you done to me?”  Clara deals with Holly by hissing and fighting back.  Its not ‘fun and games’ for Clara, like it is with Holly.  Clara hisses, spits, and claws her way through her relationship with Holly.  Fortunately for us, when one of the humans in the household intervenes, Clara takes off for safer places and we have yet to see blood.  Unfortunately for us it means that we can’t leave the house for very long periods of time so that we can keep tabs on this all AND yesterday, Clara’s ‘safer place’ was under the deck outside.  She didn’t come in for, oh, I’d say about 5 hours.  Emily spent most of that 5 hours on her belly in the mud trying to coax Clara out.

But here’s what’s kind of fun – we have these times in the day where there are bursts of activity and the cats and dog have the Zoomies around our house.  The cats can climb, so our banister on our staircase has had a whole lot of claw marks, and there have even been some walls clawed; with that inevitable sound of ‘fingernails on a chalkboard” to go with it.  But then, just as quickly as the Zoomies are started, the Zoomies are finished, and all of the critters find a warm, soft, place to curl up for a nap.  The naps can even happen in proximity with each other; the need for rest seems to supersede the need to battle out the relationship.  And so the day goes – Zoomies then nap.  Then more Zoomies and another nap.  Then some supper, more Zoomies and everyone goes to bed for the night.

I’ve watched this whole rhythm of our household with some amusement, but also recognizing the wisdom in this natural way of doing things.  There is a time for activity and there is a time for rest.  Both happen naturally; and both are needed.

I have a tendency to pretend that I don’t have a natural need for rest.  I think that deep down I’ve embedded some of our church social messages that faithfulness means activity and ‘doing’ things for the kingdom of God.  I think that deep down I’ve also embedded some of our workplace social messages that rest is actually laziness, and that workaholism is actually something that is honorable.

But here’s the problem; you can only ignore your need for rest for so long, and then the weariness starts to seep into your soul.

Truthfully, I’m tired.  It has been a hard two years negotiating the Pandemic.  Its been a hard two years of ‘pivoting’ and changing and living with not being able to make choices or plans.  In this last two weeks in the life of Bethel, the number of us who have injured themselves, or who have had significant and frightening health issues, or even who have hit the point where weariness is morphing into mental health issues has increased dramatically.  My fatigue is also etched into all of your faces.  I spoke to M & P this week about this issue, and Jennifer identified that we are in a time of ‘transition’ between life with Covid and life post-Covid; but we have yet to make the actually step from one to other.  We are all tired.  We all need rest.

And all of this is complicated by the truth that we actually have no idea what ‘life post-Covid’ looks like.

But here’s what I know –

I know that God doesn’t ask for us to harm ourselves with fatigue and burn out.  In fact, God calls us to Rest.  But this rest means that we have to do two things;

We have to recognize that we were created to have times of activity and times of rest. You know – “Zoomies then Naps”.

And we were also given God’s yoke that is ‘easy’ and will give us rest when we are weary.

So today, I hope you’ll join me in putting down the social yoke that tells us that overwork is good and that rest is laziness, and take God’s yoke that gives us rest.  The yoke that emphasizes humility and gentleness over productivity and power.  The yoke that offers our souls the naps that we need.

Blessings today, and Remember you are loved.

~Rev. Lynne

P.S.  Picture today is of Holly and Gabby napping together.  Clara was still out under the deck at this point.


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