I have a passion to see people learn how to REST. As a recovering workaholic, I want to help people see the gift that is REST and that this is a gift from God. REST is actually a commandment, smack in the middle of the BIG TEN! and one we forget because it comes with lots of baggage and more rules, depending upon where you grew up. But what if we really believed that REST is a gift and not a curse? What would that look like to you? To your family? To our culture? If we all actually had REST in our lives? If we all actually had margin and space, rather than over filled days and to do lists. We sadly don’t get points for resting! We get points for doing and having more on our calendars than someone else. I believe it’s God’s desire to give us the gift of REST because God loves us and knows we need to stop, pause and recover. God wants us to have margin in our lives so we don’t burn out and so we can actually have space to love other people. I’ve started leading retreats and workshops on practicing REST and Sabbath called #RESTisHoly. Here are some of the questions I ask that might help you get started in your practice of REST.
What does the word REST mean to you? When you hear it, do you think of taking a nap in a hammock, taking a walk, falling asleep on the couch, or getting to sleep in later than your normal alarm setting ? Or does the word REST make you nervous? Does it cause you to become anxious about what you might not be doing or about how much you haven’t done yet? There was an old book call Tim Hansel wrote a book in the early 80’s called When I Relax I feel Guilty. Maybe that’s how you feel too.
Why is it hard for you to rest? to pause, to take time to recover from the week, or from the busy season of your life? What things block you from REST? Take some time to think about this and talk to Jesus about where you are with REST.
What does REST look like in your life? What could REST look like in your life? What do you want REST to look like in your life? Your REST practice will look different from mine because everyone is different. You get to choose how you receive refreshment and how you will practice REST.
What practices feed your soul? What things bring you life and help you REST?
What if you actually gave yourself permission to REST rather than perform?
What is a symbol of REST or a visual reminder of REST for you? I actually bought a chair to sit in to remind me to stop and rest. And today, I started a painting of a porch with a rocking chair to remind me to take time to rest. The painting of the chair at the beginning of the article was done in 2015.
Find a REST PARTNER, a person to help you actually practice REST. An accountability person to help and encourage you to REST. Especially if you don’t even know what rest really is or how to begin you’ll need a friend to help you. Plan to do something together, like take a walk or sit on the porch and drink tea together. All you need to do is give yourself permission to stop, to put down THE LIST, LET JESUS HAVE THE LIST! and BREATHE IN PEACE. We have to practice receiving the gift of REST!
People who like to tell you all the things they’ve done in their day or their week, won’t understand. And that’s ok. We are human beings, not human doings! We have to remember that REST is counter cultural AND #RESTisHoly
What if you choose REST as a thing to do this weekend?