This is the name of one of my favorite bands. They were one of the first Christian bands I saw perform live, AND they didn’t put me to sleep with soft acoustics. What makes me think of them today however, is the name. “7th Day Slumber”
On the Seventh Day God rested.
How important is that? The creation narrative in Genesis 1 is bookended by moments that are typically described as passive or inactive. In Gen1:2 the Spirit of the Lord is brooding over the chaos waters, waiting for just the right moment for creation. In Gen 2:2 He rests having completed his work and sets that day aside as holy.
Now in my post Waiting vs Waiting, I talk about waiting as an active task. In the same way, rest is equally vital and active even though we tend to assume it’s passive and relegate it into the “when I have time” or “I can sleep when I’m dead” category. I spent four days resting and unplugged for the most part and I can’t tell you how much better I feel. So here are three benefits to rest and three tools to help you rest.
- Prioritize it: The number one reason I forget to rest and take time off is that it isn’t important enough for me to say “no, I can’t help you.” I think it’s an effect of American culture that we can’t say “I’m busy” when we’re resting because we’re so accustomed to rest as being passive. Make rest a priority and it’s easier to say “no” to things that would interrupt it.
- Schedule it: Get rest on the calendar. Make sure that to set a time, a place, a date for it all where you are able to sit down and take care of yourself otherwise it will never happen. Set a date and stick to it.
- Make time for it: Rest doesn’t have to be an entire day, or an entire weekend. It could be as simple as stepping away from the desk during lunch, or taking ten minutes when you first get into the office to pray before turning on your computer. It could be turning off your cell phone during dinner or just staring out the window for five minutes. But we still have to make time for it.
- Your #1 resource: Let’s face it, we are our number 1 resource. And if we don’t take care of ourselves, if we start drowning, then there’s no way we can save someone else. If I take care of myself, then I am more able to take care of others. (Some people call this Sharpening your Saw)
- Improved Attitude: Rest allows us to reset our lens and do a maintenance check on our perspective. Once we start seeing the world from a place where we’re rested instead of agitated, overworked, and generally grumpy, then the world is a better place, and we can interact with it again.
- Presence of God: Here it is, the quote you’ve all been dreading. “Be still and know that I am God.” But it’s only trite because it’s true. Truth is that when we get caught up in work and the things of this world, even when our work is Kingdom work, we still get lost in it and lose sight of Him and His presence. Deliberate rest allows us to reconnect.
How about it, any vital tools you think I missed? Any benefits I should have touched on?