Time to “Unlax”

(Originally written January 1993)

We arrived at the village just in time for lunch. It had been a long trip of about 24 hours. On Sunday morning we had left Oklahoma City, flown through Dallas and L.A., then spent the night in Honolulu. Monday morning we had taken the short flight to the Big Island of Hawaii, rented a car, and driven to the remote resort. We were celebrating our 25th Anniversary about eleven months late; it had been a busy year of weddings, graduations, business obligations, and adjusting to the changes of mid-life.

With an absence of T.V., radio, telephone, and traffic, the lifestyle here was much different than the one we had left at home. It took us two or three days to slow down. Davidene knew that she really needed to unwind and relax, but was so caught up in our hurried pace, that the only word she could get out was “unlax”. We learned how to deal with the difficult decisions of the day: when to eat and what to have. Quiet reading, long walks, and restful conversation became the norm.

One morning as I was sitting on the porch with the beautiful ocean in the background, I read an interesting Psalm –“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother…my soul within me ceased from fretting”. How long has it been since you have taken time to “unlax”? Most of us will only take that “dream trip” once in our lives, but what about getting away from regular vacations, regardless how exotic? Do you make a habit of allowing your soul to be quiet at least once a week in relaxation, exercise, or worship? And don’t all of us need a few minutes each day to quiet our souls?

In a society rushing to accumulate knowledge, power, money, and pleasure, we must slow down and escape to a quiet place. It may be in a park, on a big rock, on a swing, in a closet, by a stream, in our favorite chair, on a boat, under a shade tree, by the ocean, on a horse, or by a still pond. But deep within every one of us is a soul screaming for attention. It needs to commune with its creator and longs to really share with those who care. How long has it been since you’ve had that talk with your spouse, your parent, your child, or your best friend? Our world rushes blindly ahead at a breakneck pace, getting louder and louder, while souls of lonely people are crying out. Those are not just souls of the sick, poor, and the helpless, but of the successful, prosperous, and the educated. Our souls are searching for meaning in a shallow age.

Quieting the soul involves clearing our minds of clutter, allowing our bodies to recover, cleansing our thoughts of the garbage of our society, and getting new direction. We begin to understand the seasons and cycles of life while we gain perspective relating to our priorities and purposes for living. We clean the windows of our souls of the filth and grime of this world’s systems, the fog of fear, the drizzle of worry, and the dust of uncertainty. We remove the clouds of doubt and let the sunlight in. We hear the birds as we turn off all the electronics. The waves bring peace to our soul. The mountains in the distance bring us stability and strength. The trees give shade to our weary body.

As we begin this new year, may I encourage you to plan your times to “unlax”. Schedule that family trip you’ve never taken, or that weekend with your spouse. Build restful moments into your week and your month. And why not start each day with a few minutes with God? You could read the Bible through this year in only a few minutes a day. Gain strength through prayer and direction through God’s word. May this year be one that teaches all of us how to quiet our souls in the midst of a restless generation.

Kent

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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