The Importance of REST in Life and MinistryMarch 7, 2014
“In the press of life, if there aren’t sufficient and appropriate escapes,” said Wayne Cordeiro, “we become susceptible to unsuitable ones.” Here’s a word that gets little attention these days: rest.
In our over-accomplished, quick-paced society, we tend to devalue rest. We suppose that rest is something that occurs later in the day, later in the season, later in life. We work, play, entertain, and consistently push forward without proper down time.
Before you disregard this notion and write it off as an attempt to be lazy, allow me to remind you that God Himself rested. (He established this precedent fairly early in Scripture.) He created a day of rest. He required His people to rest. In the year of jubilee, He required His land to rest. His Son came to this world and frequently rested. Within the framework of time and space He allotted the necessary components for His creation to recharge themselves from their labor.
God wants us to rest. This is not a free pass to play video games all day long. On the contrary, rest is the reward of a laborious life. It is only within the context of labor that rest is established. Rest provides the fuel we need to get back to the job. It keeps us balanced and recharged for life.
In the name of success and accomplishment, we fill each moment with activities that drain our soul. We are addicted to busyness – we need an intervention, or at least a day off from time to time. When we rest we are able to:
R- Reassess Our Schedules.
Most of us do not realize how busy we are until we slow down. When we rest, we are better suited to evaluate our priorities, schedules, and activities. Too much of our lives are filled with pettiness and nuanced issues. Reassess your schedule and you just might rejuvenate your soul.
E- Enjoy a Day Off.
Someone has anonymously written, “The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of the river without feeling guilty about it.” There is nothing wrong with taking a day to regroup and refresh your spirit. Noah Benshea said, “It’s the space between the notes that make the music.”
S- Start Over Again.
Rest is a surefire remedy for regret. Rest brings closure and confidence: closure, in the sense that things have come to an end; confidence, in the sense that we are able to start over. The end of a day brings hope that another sunrise will occur. God designed life with down-sitting and uprising in mind. When things come to an end, they point to a new beginning. Rest so that you can restart.
T- Take Our Cares to the Lord.
Richard Swenson astutely observes, “Is God now pro-exhaustion? Doesn’t He lead people beside the still waters anymore? There are no fallow lands for our emotions to lie down and rest in. We miss them more than we suspect.” The Good Shepherd designed the valleys of life as places of rest and revitalization. Today He calls you unto Himself. He invites you to transfer your cares, your busyness, your schedule, your worries, and your fears, upon His strong, capable shoulders.