Thanksgiving weekend just wrapped up and, as with each year, I say my good-byes with a little regret. I really love the holiday, the family time, the food, and the tradition.
This past Saturday, amidst the long Thanksgiving weekend, was a day of Sabbath for me. I spent the day unplugged from my typical accoutrements of electronic access to the world, did a fair amount of reading and spent a good amount of time with family. I can share that it was challenging yet peacefully wonderful.
I realize that the idea of taking a whole day to rest is foreign to some. For some, taking an hour off is difficult. I know that. Some of us could, if we wanted, but don’t because we crave the pace & all we cram into it. Others of us would if we could but the logistics of our life are such that we can’t seem to find even the moments to spare.
The point being, as I shared last week , though we may not really know how (or why) we’d manage to set aside time for meaningful rest, let alone a whole 24 hours, we should talk about it and, frankly, figure out how to do it. It’s worth noting that this command #4 in the 10 Commandments, He wisely uses the word Remember to make His point. Remember the Sabbath day…I’m thinking He knew that guys like me might forget. Remember to do this, Craig.
My natural bent is towards people and achievement. I like doing things with others, being on a team, being active and involved. Leadership and strategy come naturally to me and I’m often part of the inner circle of involvement. As such, I tend to be busy most all the time yet, over the years, I have learned a few things about ordering my life so that I won’t burn out so quickly. I don’t manage these ideas perfectly but even the awareness of these principles is liberating (the truth does set us free!)
With that being said, here are some thoughts I have this morning. I hope that they resonate with you and spark some conversation:
- Rest requires faith. As we intentionally take time to rest we do so believing that We need it and The world will be just fine while we’re resting. Watch Marshawn Lynch tap his helmet next week after a series of hard pounding plays and he starts walking to the sideline– he’s telling his teammate I need a rest as he walks to the sideline. He knows he needs a break and he knows the team will be just fine with him out for a few plays. The success of the Seahawks does not rest on him alone and the success of your life does not rest on you alone.
- Rest promises lasting hope. Hope is not elusive but it’s hard to define! God comes into the picture here as the central figure. I know that this (discussing God) is tricky for some of us. Like you, I have dealt with some of the shit-storms and asked WHY! without apology. Life is flat out hard sometimes. I propose that He is right there in the messy busyness of our days, that He cares and comforts. We can know Him and He will make Himself known to us as we rest.
- Rest invites peace. Like the sun rises every day, whether it’s cloudy or sunny, peace comes as we rest. It may be just a little bit or it may come in gobs but it does come.
This is not an exhaustive discussion on the topic, I know. We need to chat more about it. But imagine a week that revolved around a day of wonderful rest instead of restless days and nights worrying about how to squeeze more out or in to your day.
I’ve been reflecting on rest because I need it. I need to be refreshed and replenished so I brought the idea of Sabbatical or Sabbath Rest to the conversation with you and with God. I’m going into a big year next year at work and in my family. I want to do well, to live honorably and generously.
How are you learning to rest in a way that produces the life you desire?