Normally, around this time of year, we all sing the chorus of our favorite Christmas carols. Maybe it’s “Silent Night,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Feliz Navidad,” or a myriad of others. These songs are full of joy, happiness, and hope. However, the chorus that we’re singing this year seems to be, “I’m exhausted.”
I think that we’re all feeling it. It’s not uncommon to start to drag around this time of year, with all the hustle and bustle that comes with Christmas and the other holidays. This feels different though. This is a whole new sense of tiredness that I don’t think that many of us are used to feeling. It’s like we’ve all been stuck in our own personal “Groundhog Day.” You know, the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray. If you’re not familiar with the movie, the main character, Phil, gets stuck repeating the same day (Groundhog Day) over and over again. It doesn’t matter what he does because, each morning when his alarm clock goes off, the day has restarted as if nothing has happened.
This is the hamster wheel that many of us have been running on since March. We aren’t able to go anywhere or do a whole lot. There are no big parties or concerts, sporting events are limited, we cannot travel outside of the country, and if you leave your home state for an extended period of time, then you’re supposed to quarantine for 10-14 days. So, most of us have decided just to stay home. Some of us get to leave the house for work everyday, but outside of a thrilling trip to the grocery store, we’re hanging out in our own houses. This doesn’t sound like it should be exhausting. “I would love to have some time to relax at home and do nothing.” How many times have we said that prior to the pandemic? Yet, we’re all going stir crazy, wanting to be anywhere but home.
These are real emotions. We need not hide them. What are we to do about it though? Firstly, anything that you can do to break the routine is helpful. However, what we really need to cling to is hope. Not only hope that we are nearing the finish line of the pandemic as we watch truckloads of the vaccine head out from the factories, but hope in the promises of Christ.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Those are the words, spoken to us by our savior, in Matthew 11:28-30. Are you “weary and burdened,” and does your soul need rest? Spend some time with Jesus. Crack open the Bible, and read the words that he has spoken to you. Take the time to turn off your TV, computer, and phone and talk with him. Read a good, Christ-centered book. Go on long walk or hike, but forgo putting in the headphones. Get away, in whatever way you can, from all the noise of his world, and enter into the presence of God. Sometimes the best spiritual practice is to simply take a nap.
You need rest. Please don’t pretend that you don’t. The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, some more so than others. Your mental and spiritual health are of the utmost importance. God created the Sabbath for us because he knew we needed rest. In fact, rest is a commandment. Do yourself a favor and spend some time alone with your loving creator. He has promised to give you rest, and he never fails on his promises.