Life’s Most Essential Ingredient: Rest

Life’s Most Essential Ingredient: Rest August 13, 2023

A fox resting on a tree stump. Blurred greenery in the background.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

There is a wonderful app I use for Christian meditation called Live from Rest. Isn’t that just the greatest name? I think it’s actually the most essential ingredient for how we should live our lives. 


Rest is defined as ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. Not to be confused with sloth – reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.


Frequently in our hustle and go-go-go culture these two get confused or twined together and viewed in the same negative light. We are pushed to keep up. To publish constantly on social media, to have hundreds of friends we “follow”, and to do more, be more, and prove it with those glowing selfies, rinse and repeat. 


I want to encourage you today. There is healing in rest. Silence cleanses. Rest restores.


So yes, we are called not to be sluggards and to model ourselves after ants, to be industrious and hard working. 


Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV)


But, we are not, on the other hand, called to burn the candle at both ends, to work until we drop, to run until we can’t run anymore. 


Five cups of coffee needed? Something is out of balance! 


Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. (Exodus 20:9-10 NIV)


We know the old cliche about taking time to fill our cups, so we can pour out into others because we cannot do so when our cups are empty. While it might be advice often flippantly shared it is also how Jesus lived his life.


Jesus took time to pull away, rest, and pray.


But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16 NIV)


In fact, the Bible mentions rest more than 35 times. 


As I look out at my garden, I see the slight changes as wisps of fall are starting to trickle down from the mountains. Cool breezes are coming in strong and, while I’m not saying to go out and replace your pantry with everything pumpkin spice, the season seems on the cusp of turning to autumn soon. A time of year when most of the general public (in the USA at least) begin to think of slowing down and snuggling in, hygge starting to trend once more. 


Instead of waiting for a season of rest, let’s take it and spread it throughout the year. 


Did you participate in the mid-year check up? If not, I still encourage you to do so, use it as a chance to clean out and clear up those overflowing task reminders and schedule in frequent spots of rest. 


Let us savor rest the way our Lord modeled and the Bible entreats. As we move forward, let us Live from a place of rest.


He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

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