Yes, I get it. Rest is not natural, and God knows that rest is not natural to human nature.
That is why God said, “to strive to enter into rest.” We define rest as; taking ease, refresh, end intensity, stop or restrain, quit, cease, and refrain.
This is not easy when employers demand production and 24-hour performance. So, we run too fast; we overschedule, overpromise, and underdeliver. We live this in our home country-the United States. In America, one of our American idols is “the grind.”
“Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing — anything — is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet ever-growing expectations, we do not rest.” –John English Lee
We choose work because work feels more significant than rest. It’s just a lie.
Enough is enough
The world never stops. The news rolls out 24 hours a day. The world screams for attention-billboards, digital billboards, Sirius radio, and the smartphone.
You finish one wave of phone engagements, and here comes another. Ugh-text messages. Do they ever stop? Yes. Only if you stop them. Maybe you’re a phone scroller, and perhaps you scroll and scroll and scroll. Is it ever enough?
“The leech has two daughters. Give! Give!’’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘’Enough!’’: the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘’Enough!’’ (Proverbs 30:15–16 NIV)
Some things never say enough. But eventually, enough finds us all. Stress will scream “enough” when your blood pressure jumps 20 points. Anxiety says “enough” when you lose your temper and your heart rate is twice the normal. Your spouse says “enough” when your phone addiction affects the family. And your body says “enough” when you’re on the edge of a temporary or long-term burn-out.
The solution for a better life is not having more time. It is using the time you have. That means slowing down and simplifying.
Simplify your life by refusing to do more and monitor the pace you are taking.
Does this describe you? You do have limitations but no one wrote the rules.
Learn your limitations
The solution to a better life is not having more time, it is slowing down to do what matters.
John Mark Comer says, “we must remember we are mortal. Mortals have both potential and limitations, and we must learn to accept our limitations. It is a lie to believe you can do it all.”
Your finite body certainly has limitations. Despite your thinking, you are not a superhero.
John Mark Comer says:
- Life is both limited and fleeting
- Calling is limited to all of us
- Our body can only be in one place
- Our IQ is limited
- Our gifts are limited
- Our personality has limited capacity
- Our family of origin is limited
We must know our limits and our limitations. We must face the reality that we can’t always do more. Rest is required.
God rates us at 6/7th, and God designed us to work six days and rest one. A day of rest accomplishes more than we imagine, and research shows that one day of rest increases our production the other six days.
Did you know there are zero productivity results in those who worked 45-50 hours than those who worked 70 hours? A person with a 45–50-hour workweek will produce as much work as the person who works 70 hours.
A better way
Yes, a good night’s sleep will rest your body, and a nap will reboot your day, but ultimate rest comes from knowing God.
Jordan Raynor says, “resting is counterintuitive, and we must learn the unforced rhythm of rest and grace.”
Where can you find rest?
Jesus said our rest is “in Him.”
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30, NKJV)
God intends to disengage from work and engage in worship. As New Testament believers, we are not living to rest; we live from rest.
Martin Luther said, “The spiritual rest, which God particularly intends is this: that we not only cease from our labor and trade but much more, that we let God alone work in us and that we do nothing of our own with all our powers.”
Are you so busy that God cannot get your attention? When was the last time you rested from work and enjoyed God’s presence?
Let us, therefore, strive to enter that rest so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Hebrew 4:11, ESV)
We must strive to find rest.
That sounds like the perfect oxymoron, and it is.
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