The truck lurched sharply as we climbed the steep gravel road higher onto the mountain. From the backseat I leaned over so that I could see out the windshield. Riding up a mountain in the backseat of a pickup will challenge even the most hardened stomachs. As we slowed into the driveway a small cabin came into view. I breathed a sigh of relief as we rolled to a stop and I unfolded out of the truck.
It was a last second invitation to this hidden mountain retreat, which I had accepted only a couple hours earlier with the promise of seeing huge Alabama deer, that had led me to this place. The owner was an accomplished deer hunter and even had a mounted Boone & Crockett trophy buck to prove it.
Later that evening we sat on the porch while the charcoal grill heated up. I finally found a break in the old man’s story-telling to ask him a burning question.
“What’s the biggest deer you’ve killed up here?” I asked.
He laughed and shook his head.
“I don’t come up here to kill deer” he replied. “I come up here to rest.”
“You mean you haven’t killed any of the deer you’ve been watching and telling us about?”
“No… this is my hiding place. Its sole purpose is to be a retreat from the chaos down there.”
He shifted his gaze off into the distance down the mountain and breathed out slowly.
Why anyone, let alone a trophy hunter, would not take full advantage of a property like his didn’t make sense. It didn’t take long for him to start explaining the method behind his madness.
Rest is a very important thing. It’s not just a physical necessity. Not merely taking a few hours to sleep. The rest he was talking about was deep, refreshing, soul-filling rest. It was much more than a simply nap.
You might think that the old man was just that… an old man, and his pace of life wasn’t the same as we live now. On the contrary, he was a very successful man who still worked hard each day. Managed a company, traveled the world and loved it. He wasn’t some old man who was just tired and needed a nap, but the way he respected “rest” was inspiring. That night at the cabin changed the way I thought about “rest”.
I’m the type of man who doesn’t ever stop. It’s in my blood. I come from a lineage of men who’s tagline might as well be “there’s always something that needs to be done.” It’s not an untrue statement, there’s always more to do in a day than we have time for, but just because it’s true doesn’t always mean its right.
I’m a grinder. I don’t like to stop working. There are many like me in the world. Perhaps you are one as well. The problem with grinders like us is that we can fall into the trap that if we stop we will lose everything we’ve worked so hard to build.
That’s simply a lie, a convincing, dangerous lie. When we start to believe this lie we are running down the road to ruin.
The truth is, however, stopping the grind to rest is in fact the very recipe that ensures we can continue to grind and chase our dreams.
When is the last time you unplugged? When is the last time you stopped producing something and breathed deep?
If your life is consumed with output, always striving to accomplish the next task on the to-do list, then you may be dangerously close to losing your grip.
My challenge to you this week is to examine you pace of life and find a chunk of time to rest. I’m not prescribing you find time for a nap, necessarily, but rather make time to unplug, get in your element and breathe deep. Allow you mind to wander and dream.
Rest refreshes the body, emotions and soul. It’s critical if we want to keep charging after the great things we all chase. It’s imperative if we are ever going to live the significant life we desire.
Making time to rest will reset your perspective, freshen your spirit, and stoke the fire of passion in your soul.
If you’re running out of breath right now in this season it’s time to hit pause and reset. Everything you’re working on, chasing, or pursuing will be right where you leave it when you come back.