Why do we rest (and what does that look like?)

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sometimes I think the dirtiest word in Christian circles is a four-letter word you might not expect: rest.

Do you feel that way sometimes? Because we have a purpose and calling, and there’s always at least one more good thing to do, we feel as if we have no right to rest. Is this really what the Bible says? Not at all!  But I often feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle to be healthy, refreshed and truly rested.

Part of it is this mentality we have that if we’re resting we must not be doing what God’s called us to do. Part of it’s my own unreasonable expectations on myself and the never-ending to-do list.

Whatever the reason(s), I find it  really difficult to allow myself to truly take time and rest.  I have been utterly and completely exhausted, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I needed to rest.

Chai tea with lemon and honey, a favorite at the Shabby Scholor, a cafe and coffeeshop where I go every Saturday I'm home to get some rest and time with Jesus!
Chai tea with lemon and honey, a favorite at the Shabby Scholor, a cafe and coffeeshop where I go every Saturday to get some time with Jesus!

But practically what does that look like? Does that mean just lying around on the couch? (Though sometimes that’s needed too). I’ve found for me it needs to be much more intentional.

That means the past couple weeks I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time sleeping and working on eating healthier and more consistently. To emotionally decompress I’ve done a lot of sitting in coffeeshops  with a book, Skyping with friends and family to catch up and debrief; journaling prayers and processing. I’ve made sure I’ve gotten chunks of time to spend in prayer, reading my Bible, going to church, etc.

And you know what? I’m much better able to serve because I took time to rest.

After all, we can’t give away what we don’t have.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. C.J. Penn says:

    I believe that it’s our prideful human nature that leads us to believe in the importance of activity. It’s the “salvation by works” trap. But true Christianity is not about works. It’s about a relationship, with God, Jesus, and His Spirit. I really like what you say about “chunks of time to spend in prayer.” I think that’s what’s most important, for it’s in prayer that our relationship with God really grows. At least, that’s my experience.

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