[Note: After today, the Up! devotional is going on pause for August while I’m on vacation. Full announcement below.]
Many people are experiencing what I call “soul fatigue.”
An article from the University of California describes the situation well: “We’re tired of being cooped up, tired of being careful, tired of being scared… ‘This is a real challenge,’ said Kaye Hermanson, University of California (Davis) Health psychologist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. ‘There are no easy solutions… We know there are two kinds of stress that have long-term effects on our mental well-being and physical health—intense stress and prolonged stress,’ Hermanson said. ‘We have both.’”*
Ain’t that the truth!
That’s why rest is so important. After a particularly harrowing day, I love Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31). And that was Jesus!
In light of the soul fatigue many people are experiencing, I want to encourage you to rest—mentally. As a part of that I want to encourage you to do something: Identify one day in your calendar in the coming week to go screen-free for the entire day.
Yup, the entire day. No social media, texting, emails, internet, TV, Netflix…
Why? Because physical rest without mental rest is not rest. Our brains are in overdrive and we have more digital stimuli coming at us than ever before. As a result we are mentally exhausted, and we simply cannot cope with our soul fatigue.
If you have a daily video call with family, or have to use a screen for work, go ahead. This isn’t about being legalistic. I’m referring to the non-essential screen time which jacks up our brains when they’re already buzzing.
Maybe you’ll need to prepare ahead of time, perhaps setting some auto-responders or notifying key people to call you in can of an emergency. Who knows, maybe you’ll read a book, or go for a walk, or just… breathe.
God loves you. He wants the best for you. And these are difficult times.
Maybe it’s just me but I really get the sense that our souls are crying out for rest.
So give it a try. See what you learn.
Physical rest without mental rest is not rest.
By Matthew Ruttan
—Announcement: After today (Monday, August 3, 2020), the Up! devotional will be going on vacation until September 2. Have a good August!
–Today’s devotional is connected to my most recent sermon called “Soul Fatigue—A Response.” You can watch it on YouTube here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–*As quoted here, accessed on July 29, 2020.