Posts Tagged ‘rest


School’s Out – Time for Rest

School has been out a few weeks and with two trips already behind me, the summer looms large, ripe with potential. I love summer. Schedules are loose, commitments are breezy. But being an adult, it can’t compare to the feeling of “school’s out.” I remember the first summer I was on a church staff, I realized with much consternation that though the calendar said “June,” I was expected to go to work each day. That summer felt like prison. I had made it to 27 being a student or a school teacher. I did not think I would live through that summer. No one should be inside a building in July. Really.
The other day when I picked up my 8th grader from school on the last day and watched him dance around in the car like a crazy man, I knew he was celebrating many things. Summer. The end of middle school. The thought of 2 ½ months stretching out in endless abandon. I turned to him and said “You know this feeling that you feeling right now? This pure joy, this reckless gift of freedom? Adults never get that.” I’m really not a pessimistic person, but I am having a hard time with this. With family scattered, my vacation gets eaten up spending time with all factions. It’s wonderful, but never truly restful. I need to be alone, perhaps. I think I need a sabbatical.
Oh dear, that word comes from “sabbath.” Secular dictionaries describe it as “a day of rest and worship.” Another concept that I have a really hard time with: say it’s Sunday. I worshipped today. So then I come home and try to rest. And doing nothing is, well, boring. My brain won’t stop planning, creating, sorting. If I’m not producing, then what good am I? I want to produce good fruit for the Kingdom, for my family, for myself. “Be still and know?” Hardly possible. But is it?
God created the whole world. Then He stopped. And He rested. And He called it holy. What would I give to be able to stop. To say “It’s good. It’s finished.” When you think about it, God didn’t have to rest. God never sleeps nor slumbers. But He gave us the example we need. He said rest was necessary, mandatory, HOLY. Set apart, perfect, blissful. No matter how busy we make ourselves, we will never be finished with our work here on earth until the day we are standing at the throne with our mouths agape. So we might as well quit trying to be so darn effective and try being a little more playful, a little more lackadaisical, a little more like an 8th grader on the last day of school.
I’m going to spend this summer perfecting rest. And it’s going to start, for real, Sunday by Sunday. Sabbath by Sabbath. School’s out. Rest is only a holy moment away.


He Renews My Strength

Life has a rhythm. We wake up, we go to sleep. Workdays, weekends. Running errands, being still. Labor, rest. Rest…even God rested after 6 days. He declared a day of rest (Sabbath). But sometimes we decide that we need to keep going. Got to press on to finish the project and get a headstart on the next one. If I skip lunch or work longer hours, I’ll get more done. Stop! It doesn’t work – or at least not for long. The “always on” lifestyle is likely to be switched off permanently if not careful.

Don’t get me wrong.Working hard is not a bad thing. Jesus was always pushing himself to the limit to meet the needs of the people. But one thing He always did was take a break. He got himself alone with God and rested. Now the bible does warn us not to be lazy. In Proverbs 6:9-11, it says ” But you lazybones, how long will you sleep?” It goes on to say, “I want you to learn this lesson, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit.” Whoa…forget the nap I was wanting to take after this.

We are so fortunate here at CBC that we have leadership that encourages us to take our vacations and our days off. Spend time with our spouse, kids, or ourselves. Catch our breath. Read, write, relax, and worship. That’s right, “worship.” Worship renews the spirit, as sleep renews  the body. Rest times can become special times of worship. These are great times for you and God  to be together. An intimate moment with God, minus all the distractions of our corporate worship time. So make sure you allow yourselves the time to get away. Nothing will fall apart, because it’s God’s ministry anyways and He’ll find someone to do it if needed.  Take your breaks, power naps, and vacations and worship God at the same time. Enjoy.

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