Rest Sweet Rest
In our busy lives, rest is hard. Genesis 2:2-3 states that even God rested on the 7th day. We are called to take a Sabbath, but me personally, my Sabbath involves "catching up" with chores before another busy work week. How do you rest? Naps, Creativity, Activity, or Fellowship?
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:2-3
One way I rest is by listening to podcasts. Recently, I listened to the Annie F. Downs' podcast, That Sounds Fun, with Lauren Daigle. Lauren speaks of her year of rest after 7 years of pursuing music. In the height of her career, she stepped away, to rest. Rest sounds simple, but in a fast-paced world, a culture praising "the grind," and striving toward success, it can be frowned upon.
Let's look at rest, what does it mean for you? Scrolling social media? Do you feel rested after mindlessly wandering the internet? Napping? Does your soul feel renewed after sleeping an hour or two? Movement? Maybe your body is relieved of stress after activity or exercise. Very few things can renew our soul, body, and mind.
Engaging with God's Word, His creation, or His people is possibly the only place we can find true rest and renewal. All three are important and here's why:
1. Engaging with God's Word: His Word renews and does not return void. The Bible, God's Word is living and can speak Truth over our worldly sufferings. If you know, you know. It's like a balm to a weary soul. Don't all our souls become weary now and again?
2. Engaging with His creation: Time in nature has shown to reduce stress levels. Research supports this in activities like "forest bathing." Yes, it's a thing. No doubt that God created us to live in his creation; we started in a garden and who doesn't find a garden captivating? (with or without Benadryl) Diving into nature, whether it be bare foot in the backyard, hiking a local trail through the flint hills of Kansas, or soaking in large bodies of water (lakes, rivers, oceans) depending upon where you live.
3. Engaging with His people: Fellowship is a special time of intimacy. We do not fellowship with just anyone, but rather, those we are deeply connected to. Brothers and sisters in Christ bear one another's burdens and celebrate joys togethers. The body of Christ is the perfect analogy due to how we are all VERY different, yet vital to one another.
The corporate world offers options for rest like paid time off (PTO). In the extension world, as many businesses function, you must work seven years before you qualify for a Sabbatical.
In Leviticus 25:4, 6 years are spent harvesting and on the 7th, the soil needs to rest, just as the soul needs to on the 7th day of the week. The number seven is a symbol of completion or wholeness. Have you ever caught yourself in a slump or state of exhaustion? Ask yourself, when did I last rest? I would suspect it's been more than seven days. Scheduling rest might sound silly, but it is necessary. Hear me, it is necessary. With the newer trendy "self-care" progression, many generations might believe that self-care sounds selfish. And it definitely can be selfish if you're wanting to escape life versus renew your soul for better connection and service to God. Even Biblically, we are called to fill our cup first. We cannot pour from an empty container. Filling ourselves with God's Truth and the revitalizing hope of Jesus provides a shifted perspective of life.
The sermon preached a couple weeks ago at Tonganoxie Christian Church was about sitting with God. We often misinterpret standing and working as more important so that we can sit (and rest), but if we sit with God regularly/daily, we can stand and work with more fervor, not growing weary.
What are your thoughts? Do you grow weary doing good? Or do you grow more weary NOT sitting with God? Share your own goals in the comments.
My restful goals in a new season of life:
1. Setting my phone aside and picking up life-giving books in the evening
2. Set my coveted "To-Do Lists" aside and become present in fleeting moments of motherhood
3. Moving/exercising purely for joy rather than obligation
(can we all acknowledge that my Enneagram One-ness made a goal to not serve to-do lists by making another list? Lord, help me. lol)