Gathering Inspiration by Wasting Time

How often do you rest? Really rest? When was the last time you did something intangibly valuable—something that inspired you and served no practical purpose?

Ours is a very goal-oriented world. We pursue only the “tangible benefit.” And when we aren’t in our save-the-world mentality, we switch our minds off and turn on our screens on.

I’m guilty. I’m too type-b to care about the “goal” part, but it often seems there are two states in my life: the work/thought state and the rest/zombie state. During work I daydream about all the creative endeavors I can accomplish once I’m free. The moment I’m free they evaporate. Suddenly I can’t seem to create or make any positive addition to my life, so I zone out of reality.

I don’t think my zombie phase is healthy. It usually takes the  of comedy binge-watching or scrolling the interwebs for a laugh. Deep inside I know that I’m not resting or being creative, but I also know I don’t have to “do something” in order to find purpose.

I found a compromise, a middle ground. For me that middle ground is driving. So one day I took my car on a 500 mile journey to nowhere.

It was the most meaningful waste of a day.

I chased beauty up and down miles of mountain road. I sped around the curves with music echoing out my open windows. I wasn’t thinking. I was letting my mind rest, something it couldn’t do when staring at a screen. I did nothing but absorb the landscape around me: the foggy morning rain, the patches of vibrant greens glowing with sunlight between nets of blinding mist, the molten sunset oozing piercing rays, the glorious stars shining brightly in the night, the dark hills stretched against distant town lights.

It was joyful and refreshing.

I accomplished nothing by anyone’s standards but my own, and yet, what I accomplished was immense.

My creativity returned rejuvenated. The world looked more vibrant with color. I learned to be small and great, unimportant and of immense value, and I had rested.

It’s amazing how tired my mind had become from never truly resting. Real rest doesn’t happen in front of a blurring screen; it happens when you make the time to find true beauty and joy.

Try resting your mind by reading literature or a good article, listening to music, going for a walk, breathing in the scent of rain, drinking a superb cup of coffee, nibbling on good cheese, watching a sunset or a sunrise, reading a Psalm. Our minds and souls need restoration, and feeding them a quiet beauty is the most restful thing I can imagine.

Image by Unsplash.

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