In our modern society of powered lights, entertainment, and 24 hour computer access rest is often overlooked, and even viewed as a waste of time. You have deadlines, the term paper is due, the meeting is tomorrow, the client demands are NOW. You must finish. All of this is a recipe for Burnout Stew.
No, you need to know when to stop and rest before you crash and burnout.
It was during an intense time studying for exams I was given the quote –
“Action expresses priorities”Mahatma Gandhi
The words, “Stop, think about what truly matters,” echoed through my mind. As the quote above states, actions reveal what is most treasured. Ask yourself, where have you been spending your time? What fills your mind?
The Pastor of this particular talk (who declined the use of his name) continued on to speak about three aspects of life we need to rest from: work, people, and activity.
1. Rest from Work
The first aspect is to rest from work. Biblically speaking it is called Sabbath 1, the day of rest created by God, a time for all to rest and be refreshed 2. This means everyone, including animals, especially working animals like the camel, the donkey, and the plough-horse. All need to stop their work and rest.
Why? To be able to continue on later.
2. Rest from People
The second aspect, to rest from people, means solitude 3. Solitude, the state of being alone, does not mean lonely, but to be alone with God, away from the stimulation others bring, for the purpose of refreshment. Time alone is essential to our well-being. It gives balance to our perspective. How much time we take depends upon the individual need. Take time to disengage from people so as to engage with God who fills us up, 4 especially when we are grieving or simply dried up. A tool I have found helpful is contemplative prayer.
… he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.Psalm 23:2-3
3. Rest From Activity
Finally, sleep is rest from activity. Take hold of God’s wisdom and discernment and sleep without worry. Be secure in your relationship to God 5. Exercise self-discipline and know when to stop and rest. Sleep is crucial to health. It literally restores our body by flushing out the brain, solidifying our memory processing, and maintaining our ability to problem solve. To be deprived of sleep brings (dis)ease on all levels. Sleep is the housekeeper and without it our house (body) is a mess.
To aid with sleep we need to come away from work, people and activity. Add to this the practice of contemplative prayer and we may begin to experience the state of being rested; for rest means to eliminate stimulation and sit beside the still waters of rejuvenation and simply be.
Be Still and Know I am God.Psalm 46:10
So get some rest, it’s essential to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being. The alternative is burn-out.
1. … but the seventh day is a Sabbath … On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. – Deuteronomy 5:14
2. … On the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. – Exodus 31:17
3. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. – Mark 6:31-32
4. Come to me, all who labor and who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matt.11:28
5. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved (much loved) sleep. 127:2