Monday, January 30 2023 - 12:12 PM
someone relaxing with feet kicked up
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What Is Home Anyway?

My sister and her husband just came back from a week of rest. And I mean REST with a capital R-E-S-T. Turns out the place that they went to—somewhere in the heart of Texas—operates on the premise that you and I need time away from life. Disconnecting from everything in the outside world, and doing nothing. Believing this, they built a house around it. You are fed, you have a clean bed to sleep in, and you can bring a book to read, but other than that, all there is to do is relax in your room or walk around outside.

My brother-in-law is a pastor, so this trip into the world of rest was a gift, compliments of a foundation set up for people who work full-time in ministry. But many, if not most of the guests that come and go, pay a huge sum to stay and rest a while.

Nothing But Rest

And how do they accomplish this incredible feat? Bringing peace to the lives of the haggard and successful who come riding in from their slammed lives in corporate America? It’s very simple. When you arrive at this out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere place, you quickly realize that there are no media feeds. No cellular nothing, no TV, no substance but the good solid wood and mortar of the house and the green grass outside. Rest is, well, just rest, gotten the good old-fashioned way.

And it sure does seem to do the trick. My sister has a boatload of stories, as I’m sure do all that stay in this home away from life. There is a kind of simplicity that comes with the absence of stimulus, a kind of quietness when there is nothing to generate noise and thought but you and yours. It’s quite something to just be and then eat and rest and be some more.

The Story of Elijah

It reminds me of the story of Elijah. He’d done this grand work of calling his whole nation back to the practice of worshipping God and then he freaked out. It was a heady, exhausting experience to be sure. He poured out every ounce of passion and conviction and then, in the void that yawns wide after such exertion, Elijah received a threat on his life and ran out the door.

He ran and ran, for three days. And you read the story and you just smile and feel a sense of affinity with him because you know just how that feels—to run on empty. And then you smile because front and center in all this crazy running, you see God give Elijah what he needs. Angels are sent to feed him. They feed him, he finally sleeps, they feed him, and he sleeps again. And there it is. The eating and the sleeping over and over. It’s so simple, so plain, and so primitive. No lecture, no counseling, no book on self-help or seminar or program—just food and a good old nap or two.

It seems to me—as I think about it—that this would cure most of our ills. We don’t need more piled upon us; what we need is just more sleep, more downtime, and then some food to go with it. And who’s going to give that to us? Well, we are. Without sounding sarcastic, I propose that instead of spending a few grand on a week where people have mastered the art of saying no to the inundation of information and hiding in their little house on the prairie—as good as that can be—we begin to introduce ourselves to the concept of home and unwire ours accordingly.

Revisit What Home Is

I’m sure a week away from life is nice. Even life-changing for that matter, but that cannot be enough. It seems to me that we need to reintroduce ourselves to our bedrooms and kick out anything that has nothing to do with the bed or the room. Revisit what home is and then dismiss the outside world; its peoples, stories, noise, and music.

Do I need to spend the big dough and drive to a distant land to be on a homestead for a few days? Really, no. I pay my mortgage. I have control over my little kingdom right here. It seems that all I need to do is reclaim my space and set those boundaries that have been missing and think. Think rest. Think silence, and think food. And think humans I live with.

It all sounds very good. Good like home. Nice and cheap, too.

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Claire Worley writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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About Claire Worley

Claire Worley

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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