The Torture of Rest


I once heard a prominent speaker on marriage talk about the difference between men and women. He said women can never “do nothing”. Even when they seem to be doing nothing, their hearts and minds and emotions are busy processing, planning, thinking and wondering. They are always multi-tasking.

A man’s brain however is wired differently than a woman’s. Men’s brains are made up of little boxes and usually they can only work in one box at a time. One of the most important boxes in a man’s brain is the “Nothing Box”. He retreats to this box when he needs to recharge, escape or avoid. When he is in his “Nothing Box” and his wife asks him, “What are you thinking?” He looks at her with a blank stare and says “Nothing”. This is why a man can fish all day even when “Nothing” is biting, or stare at the T.V. for hours, even when “Nothing” is on. The fact that he has a “Nothing Box” drives his wife crazy. This is something she cannot conceive of. She can never do nothing!

I am telling this story because for the last four days we have been doing “Nothing”. They call it “Resting”. I usually love resting. Doing nothing appeals to my nature, but not today! Valerie on the other hand is a “Go-go girl”. Doing nothing gets old really fast! And while these days of “Rest” have really helped Valerie with her health, we both long to be back out there where the “action” is. For over a month we have been going and going. Along with this endless activity we have been blessed beyond measure as we have seen a constant display of the wonders and working of God. I guess we are having withdrawals!

Almost everyone I know who has been on a short-term mission trip has experienced this. For a few weeks you are seeing and doing things you’ve never seen before. You are giving your all and reaping the rewards of “going all in”. Then it’s over! And you are back home in your routine life. Many, if not most, experience some sort of crash! This is something for all of us to think about. Maybe there’s something to be said for “living all in” instead of “visiting all in”. This is the life the Jesus has called us to. It may seem “impractical” to live a life that is “all in” when we are in the comfort of our own homes, but there is no doubt in my mind that this is where the Lord wants us to be.

Help us Lord to “live all in” and live to see the constant wonder of Your works.

Richard