This afternoon I felt restless. After I threw a couple loads of clothes in the washer I couldn’t get settled down to doing anything else constructive. I almost went grocery shopping, but I was just shopping yesterday. Thoughts of being in a store today weren’t appealing. In fact, the longer I was in the house the more restless I felt.
What did I do? I prayed about my restlessness, grabbed a coat and headed out into the bright sunshine. I fed the birds, then walked on a nearby nature trail. Spending time outside is relaxing to me because nature has no agenda. It just is. The trees don’t try to get me to buy anything; the boulders don’t bellow any propaganda; the gurgling and babbling of the creek as it rushes over and around the rocks doesn’t contain any hidden messages. Nature is, and that simplicity and the beauty of the woods brought a peace to me that hours later I am still enjoying.
If you’re inside, longing for the outdoors, and can’t make it there yet, here’s a mental “getaway” for you.
Some years ago following the death of a family member, I was restless and depressed. Too much time on my hands meant I was thinking too much about myself and my loss. I felt empty; I felt as though I had nothing to give to anyone.
Someone suggested contacting a local pastor’s wife. She was looking for some volunteer help for a short-term project. I knew the pastor’s wife; she served as volunteer coordinator for the town library when I volunteered there years before.
I called her; she wanted someone, preferably with library knowledge but not a church member, to reorganize the church library. Since I had experience working in the town library but wasn’t a member of the church her husband led, I met her preferences.
Reorganizing the church library turned out to be one of the best jobs, paid or unpaid, I’ve ever had. It rescued me from the doldrums and morass of self-pity I fell into. It taught me that even when I thought I had nothing to give, I did have something to give.
If you are feeling down and stuck, look around! Someone may be seeking a person just like you to lend a helping hand–a person who thinks he has nothing to give.