We live in the busiest generation that ever existed. A generation that doesn’t know how to rest. It’s as if there is an unspoken competition going on with each other: Who is busier than who? “Oh, you have to fetch your kids from school? I have to fetch them, take them to soccer and ballet practice and still go home and make supper.” (In other words: Beat ya!)
Why this addiction to being busy all of the time? It really does become an addiction, and we have lost the art of slowing down and enjoying the seemingly insignificant moments of life. I believe that we are trying to remain relevant, keep up with other people, and look like we’ve all together. So, we keep going on this treadmill of life, just running but never really getting anywhere. This can prove to be very frustrating.
The Effects of Rushing
Some of the ailments that a lack of proper physical rest can bring, according to WebMD, include a lack of concentration, heart disease caused by stress, high blood pressure–you get the picture. Physical exhaustion may also lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout, which can lead to more health problems.
Sorry, so far, this has been painting a rather bleak picture, I know. I promise that there is a silver lining coming up. (Please keep reading)
There is a third type I want us to look at. Spiritual rest. Resting in God. Trusting Him, even when we don’t feel like it.
I want to remind you of the words that Jesus spoke. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
Jesus promises to show us how to take a real rest if only we would ‘come to him.’ We need to surrender the urge to ‘control’ and to run constantly. We need to learn how to say ‘no’ sometimes to others to say ‘yes’ to ourselves. Say ‘yes’ to spending time receiving from Jesus, His perfect rest for your soul. Our souls get weary, our emotions and thought-life can get contaminated by this world we live in, and sometimes we lose our focus. However, Jesus promises us true rest.
How to Change
Practically, you may be asking, how does this look? Well, for each of us, it may be different, depending on our personalities. Sometimes going for a massage gets my mind clear and gets me to relax. Whereas reading actually stimulates my brain more than relaxing it. So, you need to find what suits you. Here are a few suggestions of things to try:
- Going for a coffee/meal alone
- Going away for a weekend
These are only a few ways that you can try to get alone with God and receive peace. Being more organized also helps you to maintain your tasks and what is of higher priority. If you need to say ‘no’ to some event so you can have some time to soak in the bathtub, then do that. We have liberty and freedom, and we may offend people, but you receiving rest is of vital importance. Embrace the fact that your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical well-being should be a priority for you.
If you suffer burnout, who will be able to cook meals and take care of your family? In other words, if your cup is empty, how will you fill the cups of those around you?
Rest in Him
Hebrews 4 is entitled “Promised rest for God’s people.” People who know God and have a relationship with Him can only experience true rest. What is this rest, you may ask? It’s about having faith in God and ceasing from your own works. It’s about trusting that God has got your back.
Rest brings peace. Peace is defined as the absence of strife. We don’t need to strive anymore. Instead, we can just be. We can truly enter into that rest. Grace works when we begin to rest.
“There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.” (Mark 6:31 TPT)
Sometimes all you need is a moment to make a sandwich and rest a while. Even Jesus understood this.