Reflections

Rest – Not a Necessary Evil

By July 12, 2021 No Comments

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” (Is. 30:15)

            Elon Musk made news a few years ago in his podcast interview with Joe Rogan by acknowledging that he needs 6 hours of sleep a night, or else his productivity suffers. Many other CEOs brag about getting by on 4 or 6 hours of sleep per night, wearing their Spartan sleep habits like a badge of honor. Underlying these stats is the belief that sleep, and the corresponding concept of rest, is only a necessary evil that we must endure to maximize productivity. It seems like it is the American Way to try to get by with as little downtime as possible.

            This is a far cry from what the Bible advocates. Not only does the Creation of the world include one full day of rest, but the Ten Commandments include the practice of the Sabbath. Further emphasizing the inherent value of rest, Jesus implores us, “Come to me you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” As if to make the ultimate point, the author of Hebrews describes heaven as “entering His rest” (Hebrews 4:3,5,6,9). 

            Rest is meant to be an essential part of our daily, weekly, annual life. We rest not just to regain our strength for the more important work of producing but because rest is in the nature of God and the substance of our walk toward Him. Rest is not meant to be the servant of productivity, but the loving companion. In the book of Isaiah God says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation.” (Is 30:15)

     

Rest restores

Rest refreshes

Rest is the habitat of joy.

Rest is the soil in which peace is experienced.

I will confess that I have a hard time resting. My internal motor is always churning. I am learning that rest takes intention and it takes practice. With that confession in mind, I offer the following questions:

  • Do we rest when we are on vacation?
  • Are we so used to being productive that we have a hard time resting? Is distraction ruining our ability to rest?
  • How are you and I practicing rest on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
  • Take a moment to reflect on your ability to rest. 

God is calling you, offering you, even today, to enter into His rest. Will you heed His call?

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