My theory is that when you are driving ninety miles per hour, you stay ahead of much of the pain. But pull into a rest stop, and disappointment catches up and parks beside you. Disappointment in others. Disappointment in yourself. Others’ disappointment in you. People you cared about who moved out of your life. Sadness over unmet expectations. And weariness. Sometimes you don’t realize how tired you’ve become until you stop moving.
So writes Jeff Manion in his book, Dream Big, Think Small. His particular piece on recovery has struck a chord with me - as has this quote:
He’s a pastor - and you don’t need to be in his congregation to “get” the reality of his words.
This idea of the soul pleading for repair is… well, so familiar.
Manion writes of the importance of seeking out restorative practices for our souls. Ideally, we ought to consider what can bring renewal before we are completely undone. Maybe this is a pipe dream for some who are already spent and trying to claw their way out of the hole of exhaustion.
Manion shares how in preparing to run a marathon, one must also plan the post-marathon work. Because if there is no plan, the body will just give in to what feels right…. for example, one might want to collapse into a hot tub and just sleep after running such a long distance. But, the body actually needs a cold soak and stretching first.
I don’t run marathons. But I do know the feeling of wanting to unwind with what seems an easy fix at the end of a long day (which sometimes feels like a marathon). Maybe for some of us, endlessly scrolling through social media seems “deserved” but is it?…. Does it truly fill the soul, or are we being deceived (and further exhausted) by what is pictured? Or maybe the scrolling only shows more stories of injustice, sorrow, inequity…squashing any seeds of hope that maybe things might get easier or better.
I don’t know if I necessarily have a resolution or a word or a mantra or a goal, but my hope is to persist at hearing my soul’s pleas, to figure out what I ought to do vs what I want to do when it comes to rest and renewal.