As my ‘sit in the river’ vacation approaches, I find myself looking forward to the quiet, unstructured days of sister time. I always enjoy the place, the company and the renewal. It occurs to me that rest and renewal are very important in our lives!

Too often we try to push ourselves – get more done, wait to rest, produce, produce, produce. And while the benefits can be rewarding in the short term, they are probably not going to get us the long term results we want. If we’re too exhausted to enjoy the benefits, what’s the use? I believe balance is much more effective in the long run.

Years back I remember listening to music from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou, and hearing a song of actual chain gang members singing. The sound of their hammers on the stone sounded rather weak, and I commented on it to a friend. I wondered why they didn’t seem to be working hard. My friend reminded me that the men were working all day long, and that they had to pace themselves to endure and last the whole day. A good lesson for all of us!

Are we making regular time for rest and renewal? Rest comes in many forms – a good night’s sleep, a break in the daily routine, a quiet moment in a hectic day. What about renewal? Renewal implies being made new. Something causes the renewal. Rest brings relief to the physical body, but renewal implies a restoration of well being and healing. I believe renewal comes from a restoration of our inner selves. Renewal methods are varied and can be unique to the individual.

I am renewed in nature. The sights, sounds and rhythms of nature soothe my soul. The river time of my annual vacation brings a deep peace. Just as a cool glass of water satisfies a deep thirst, so does this vacation time fill my inner being. I am re-newed, re-freshed and re-filled.

During the year too, I can get renewal. I find myself filled by means of prayer and meditation time. This regular renewal time is critical – there is no way I could wait for an entire year for vacation to come around. Prayer brings me into connection with Source, and I am always re-newed in that connection.

As you consider yourself and your energy level, ask if you feel rested, renewed at regular intervals. If not, some R & R could be just what your soul needs!