We’re a few weeks in to the New Year, and the good news is we’re not going to talk more about NYR (new year’s resolutions).
Instead, let’s put a wrap on our conversation about rest.
Rest is like exercise.
It’s not always easy, it doesn’t always come naturally, for some reason we have a tendency to resist it, but it is worthwhile.
Authentic rest is more than just Netflix.
It’s Shabbat which means to cease and rest as an act of worship to God. This attitude change moves a person from paralysis brought on by the anxiety of all the things left undone, to praise for all the good things that have been done in the week.
Sabbath rest takes practice.
- Cease: it’s an act of trusting God with your work, and gives you a chance to enjoy it. Don’t spend it worrying about what you have to do, or who might be trying to get ahold of you. The odds are good that life will go on. Prepare in advance to get to a good stopping point on your work (if such a thing exists).
- Worship: It’s an opportunity to take every moment of the day, and commit it to God. Be thankful for the good things that God has made, and the good works that he has done! Take every moment, from waking up, to the first sip of coffee, to the last deep breath before falling asleep to connect the dots and thank the one who gave it to you.
Change Takes Time
- Awareness: “Slowing down is an interesting idea” You recognize that living a different way, could be beneficial.
- Ponder: “Help me understand more about slowing down.” ‘what does it look like?’ Reading books, listening to people talk about it, conversing with friends about it.
- Value: “I really believe it is important for everybody to slow down.” You might dabble in adopting the behavior shift that you want to see, but usually you don’t consistently experience the results. The important thing, is the belief is that the change is valuable goes deep down into you. (note the gap in the chart)
- Prioritize “I am shifting my entire life around as I slow down to be with Jesus” Here, the change moves from belief to practical as radical reprioritizing makes it important enough to do.
- Own: “All my decisions and actions are based on this new value"
Throughout the story of the Bible, people have been trying to chase down true rest. Sabbath rest has been available since the beginning. The opportunity remains to this day. But true rest doesn't simply happen by setting aside a day and pre-preparing a meal. Something that has to happen in the soul before we're able to get to that place. Something has to address our anxiety, or workaholic tendencies, or even the aimless living that we are so prone towards. The invitation of Jesus of Nazareth is for an entire life transformed by his way of life.
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give to you is light."
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
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