Mark 6:31 “And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”
In the life of the disciples, Jesus instructed the disciples to find a place of rest from the busyness and stress of life. In our lives, we need to heed the same warning. Life is filled with daily activities and the work week has changed to seven days a week. I can get mail on Sundays, Amazon online orders delivered within hours, and 24/7 grocery store access. The world is always on and in working motion. The drive to be successful almost requires a seven-day work week. There is definitely a demand to keep our life jammed packed with work, activities, and family commitments. While these are all important, we must be intentional to schedule and protect our times of rest. In the Old Testament, this day was called the Sabbath, established by God as a day to rest from work and a day to reflect on God. Unfortunately, like many of God’s laws, it was twisted and made into a burden upon the people instead of a releasing from burdens.
Psychological studies continue to validate the important role that rest plays in our life and health, including our moral compass, memory & learning, and psychological development. In simple terms, we need rest to remain healthy and productive. So, set aside time to rest. Our society projects guilt upon those who take the time to rest, but the consequences of not resting far outweighs the guilt of others. Three principles of rest:
- Be specific and strategic, if rest is not a planned event, it will not happen.
- Do what allows you to rest. People find different ways to relax, so whatever works for you is the best type of rest.
- Reflect upon God. This can take various forms (Bible reading, prayer, reflection, attending church or other spiritually uplifting events).
My observation is that too often our rest excludes God instead of including God, we are so busy that the only downtime we have ends up sacrificing our time with God.