“Rest.” “Be Still.” “Wait upon the Lord.”
You will find these words and commands mentioned over 200 times in the Bible. But when someone asks the question, “How are you doing?”, how often do you say, “Busy!” “I’m swamped.” “Can’t get ahead!”
It seems that we often take pride in the busyness of our lives. We work more than 40 hours a week, spend 10-15 hours driving kids around in the evening, and eating fast food in between stops. We go to meetings, check out at the new store in town, pick up groceries, and then chase the kids around the house trying to get them to shower, brush their teeth, and go to bed.
By then you feel like you need some “me time.” So you grab a book or turn on the TV only to fall asleep before you can really enjoy either. Then you wake up and do it all again. And that’s just during the week!
On the weekends we load up the car and go to games, concerts, visit family, attend weddings, mow the lawn, and pick up the house. If we are really good, we might actually put away the laundry and clean the garage!
Somewhere along the line we bought into the lie that “Busyness leads to happiness.” While it has been proven that productivity is good for our mental health, there is also a fine line where too much is just too much. At that point, we become stressed, anxious, frustrated, and easily irritated.
That is why God has instructed mankind to rest. Take a break. Sit. Be still. Know that He is God. It’s hard to do! I know this personally. The truth is, I’m supposed to be resting as I write this!
I stepped outside to enjoy the sunset and listen to the birds as they flew in and out the pond behind our house. But I kept thinking, “David. You’re behind schedule. It’s time to write another blog.”
Rest doesn’t come easy to most of us. It is a discipline that requires intentionality and accountability. When we learn to rest in the way that God desires us to rest, we will walk away from those moments with a calmness of heart, new energy, and a better understanding of God’s purpose for our lives.
Biblical rest is a rest that can promotes peace, ease, or refreshment. Rest can take many forms. Taking a nap. Sitting down with friends and having a conversation. Playing a board game. Reading a book. Building something with your hands. Watching a movie. The idea is that when you finish your time of rest you feel better. Your mind is sharpened, health is restored, and your heart is refocused on God.
In fact, resting is an act of worship! God wants us to consider Him in all that we do. When we rest and refocus on our relationship with God, that means that we get to carry that newness of life with us into the busyness of our week.
We get to shed the light of Jesus on the people we meet at those ballgames, dance rehearsals, weddings, and concerts!
Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of busyness this week, don’t forget to make time to rest. As for me, I’m going to wrap this up and finish watching the sunset before I miss a chance to draw closer to God.