Last July, while juggling work projects for several clients including planning a huge event catering to 3000+ people, I felt God nudging me to stop working long hours [read: 6a - 8p (11p]. I strongly felt called to work 9a - 6p, but I had a long to-do list. I couldn’t fathom how I would get anything done if I didn’t use every waking hour to get work done, so I ignored Him. As far as I was concerned, that nudge never happened.
The idea of rest is not new to me. In the fall of 2016, I prayed the statement, "Lord, help me walk in pace with you.” Honestly, the statement fell out of nowhere, and it scared me, but the Spirt was probably praying for me. I struggled with the concept of REST, because the messages around me were “successful people did not get successful by resting” and “Now is the time to hustle.”
When 2017 came around, the idea of REST kept showing up in conversations, memes, prayers...you name it. God was trying to call me to lie down in green pastures, sit beside still waters and get my soul restored. However, I was trying to build something, so I tiptoed around it. In all honesty, I did not know what slowing down and not working 6a - 8p (11p) looked like.
2018 was the year I tried giving the rest mindset a try. To be honest, I wasn't quite successful at it. I took on a lot, did the most, got stuff done and then got nothing done...all with nothing to show for it. It was a busy year, and I had a lot of work project on my plate. I had no time to rest.
Hence, when the nudge came in July 2018 with specific instructions to practice working 9a - 6p, I ignored it.
Then, one morning in mid-August (three weeks to the big 3000+ event), I woke up with Psalm 127 on my mind. The night before, I had bawled my eyes out at the thought of what I still had to do for this event and all my other clients even with an assistant and intern. Not knowing or remembering what it contained, I opened up my Bible and it hit me right in the center of my heart...
"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves."
Let's just say, I got the message and immediately (not sure how I did it) started working 9a - 6p (somedays 8p) as best I could. And a miracle happened! The week of the event was the slowest week in my project and event management history. The day before, my assistant and I printed documents and managed the setup for the event.
HOW? I don't have an answer.
For the longest time, I believed walking or keeping in pace with God meant REALLY SLOWING DOWN, and a’int nobody got time for that! Slowing down meant I was not going after all that was mine in the different seasons of my life. Slowing down also meant laziness. Heck, I am young – this is not the time to slow down. My mates are getting work done, and here I was praying about working in pace with God.
However, the truth is, God moves at different speeds in different seasons of our individual lives. Sometimes he moves fast and other times slow. The secret is to keep pace with how the Spirit is moving in all seasons of our lives and to adopt discipline, focus and time management skills. I plan to keep exploring what rest means for me and not just in my business, but in my life. I may forever be a work in progress.