(This was originally posted on November 5, 2019)
My wife and I listened to a sermon yesterday about Sabbath rest. Here is the link to the sermon if you are interested in listening to it as well. I highly recommend it. If you do listen to it, you will find helpful reminders about what Sabbath is, why we need it, and how to get it.
Rest is a topic that needs to be addressed more often. We all know that we want more rest and probably need it, but rarely take the steps necessary to secure the rest we need. One reason for our failure to rest is societal pressure to work long hours and not take time off.
We live in a culture where it is a badge of honor not to use the vacation time offered to us. We have people in our church from other cultures, and they always express amazement and confusion about the American work culture. The Christian life is inherently a call to be counter-cultural. It seems that prioritizing rest is one way to live counter-culturally.
The problem is that we don't know how to rest. Doesn't that sound odd? But it's true. We hit a wall and then binge-watch Netflix seeking rest. That rarely helps. Neither does sleeping in until noon.
Rest requires a surprisingly amount of intentionality and effort.
Listen to the sermon for some ideas about how to be intentional about rest.
Other resources to help you think through the necessity of rest and how to get it would be two books: Reset by David Murray and Refresh by Shona Murray. I first heard about these books on a podcast my wife shared with me. You can listen to David, and Shona Murray interviewed here (You’ll love the accents!).
Here are a few questions to ponder/discuss as you contemplate rest:
1. How do I contribute to the anti-rest culture?
2. On a scale of 1-10, how does societal pressure factor into my rest? (1 = no influence and 10 = most significant influence).
3. How do I encourage rest / help others to rest?
4. How would I define rest?
5. Why did God rest after creation?
6. How does ignoring rest affect my family? Church? Work? Personal health (mental and physical)?