It’s the week between Christmas and New Year, and I’m not sure what day it is. Time becomes nebulous as we wait for the turn of the year. Like many people, I’ve begun thinking about the year ahead and what I want it to look like. I wasn’t planning on making and New Year’s Resolution, but without really meaning to, I’ve come up with ideas.

Part of that is be just because of cultural norms. But I’m beginning to think that it also has to do with how I slow down this week. 

There are many memes joking about this nether week, where we’re either not sure what to do with ourselves, or we do a puzzle. Those seem like the only two options the internet offers. I can relate to that. I’m somewhere in between those two. 

In that down time, I can hear my own thoughts, and begin to discern my own desires. What good would I like to cultivate for myself, my family, my church, my community this year? It turns out I do have answers to that question. I just had to slow down enough to sense them. 

Which of course indicates that one of the goods I need to cultivate is the ability to slow down. Even in this year of COVID, when our social calendars are empty, I’ve found things — noise really — to fill my hours: podcasts and social media, Netflix. All the normal things. I know there’s a place for those things, especially when I can’t see friends in person. But if I use them to quiet my thoughts then I twist my own desires and drown them out.

But what would it look like to cultivate space for silence, stillness, rest? The Lord commands us to rest, yet I fill up my Sabbath with distractions. I don’t have definitive answers. And I assume the answers may change as circumstances change, but I’m aim to learn to rest on purpose this year. 

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