One of the practices I love seeing in the Old Testament Scriptures is the command to rest.

Six days you shall labor. One day of rest.

Even the land had its sabbatical years of rest and recovery.

If God Himself commanded rest, then who are we to imagine that we can be healthy with a non-stop approach to life?

restI confess that I don’t rest well. I’m a somewhat intense person – I don’t let go easily. Even if I stop physical activity, my mind rages on – think, process, analyze…ad infinitum.

All of which means that I absolutely need times to shut it down and rest.

It’s easy to succumb to the siren song of ceaseless activity, and many people whom you read and hear will urge you toward it. You can even feel guilty about taking a day of rest.

Don’t.¬†Our minds and bodies and hearts are not designed for uninterrupted labor.

There is a spiritual element involved as well. Unbelief drives us to carry the entire load of responsibility, 24/7, as if we can and must be in total control of our destiny.

Rest is rooted in faith.

Don’t let guilt and misplaced idealism rob you of time to recover. We’re not Superman, just because we’re adults. It’s liberating to admit it, and then put down our tools for a season.

I shift to rest by taking pictures. Doing some more creative writing. Spending time with friends. Worshipping. Reading. Taking a nap. And, at the end of a long year (like, right about now) I sleep in a bit, hang about aimlessly with the family, watch movies, banter with on-line friends, and try to shut down my tendency toward business angst by being grateful for all that the prior year has brought about.

For many years, I tried to relax on the outside, but didn’t truly rest on the inside. And that’s not healthy. Now, this old dog is slowly learning new tricks…

How about you – what do you do to regularly give your soul and body a needed break?

photo credit: Brave Heart via photopin cc


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