A Day of Rest
Growing up I used to think rest wasn’t a real thing. I felt guilty when I would rest, because I wasn’t being productive. Engrained in my mind to be negative, rest meant I didn’t have the capacity to do more. I would see others around me always doing and seeming totally fine when more was added to their plate, but I would need a day to rest every once in a while. I’d need a mental break from the world, which made me wonder, “What is wrong with me?”
I believed it when culture told me the more I do, the more I work, the more I add to my schedule, the better I am. When it told me rest should only come in the form of exhaustion after all the doing is done.
Then I met Jesus.
Then I read His words and saw His beautiful design for His people.
A day of rest every. single. week. What in the world?
There’s a reason God designed us this way. I imagine when He was creating the world He could have done even more in His creation than we have to explore today. Yet, there’s a reason He set aside a day for us. Rest is meant to be intentional time with God for the sake of refreshing us. Refreshing us so we can go and do and be the remaining six days of the week. This day starts us off filled. As we face each new day throughout the week, we are emptied from what has already been filled, not the other way around
Rest is meant to be intentional time with God for the sake of refreshing us. Refreshing us so we can go and do and be the remaining six days of the week
It’s easy for us to write off rest as one of those not-so-important things. I do this, still. I go about my days having to retrain my mind to think and know rest is necessary and important. I have to intentionally set time aside, as I imagine so many others do, to rest. This quarantine has made me slow down, though. It’s creating time and space for me, not allowing me to fill my calendar just because I have time to do something. It’s reminding me that I do have time to mentally recharge, and it’s okay. More than okay, it’s refreshing.
The challenge is this: do we really rest?
Do we actually take a moment to breathe, to relax and clear our heads enough to let God fill them? Do we take time to figure out what resting actually looks like?
Rest looks different for everyone. It’s not a requirement for everyone to spend their day of rest lying on the couch for 12 hours. It also certainly isn’t meant for us to do all the tasks we forgot or didn’t make time for during the week. Rest might look like a walk in nature or on the beach, or like a coffee date with Jesus. It might be listening to music as you cook dinner. To me, it’s doing the things I love with Jesus. Praying continually, meditating on His scripture, doing the things He’s given to me as a joy to do, genuinely enjoying being with Him.
Out of rest comes life in abundance with Jesus. Not something to feel guilty about, but something to embrace. Remember that stillness is a gift, not a punishment.