Some years ago our son entered the front door and saw this former procrastinator sitting on the sofa reading a book. He stopped immediately and looking at me said, “I want to see more of that around here!” He knew the path of my feet should take me to rest along the way. And he knew I most often ignored that truth.
Since “rest” is “to cease work in order to relax or refresh oneself,” we see self- serving. Let’s realize it means being a good steward of the heart, mind, and body God has given us to use on earth. Rest is part of respecting God’s design; it helps us stay on the road He wants us on. Our continual need for restoration requires regular attention.
Many of us rarely rest because of needs and demands from people we truly love and want to serve. Yet if we neglect our own maintenance, we actually serve others less effectively. I did that for years.
What are some “rest busters” that steal our refreshment?
- Earning favor. A woman who believes in Jesus can stop struggling to earn a ticket to heaven. Rest in the finished work of Christ brings joyful relief and peace.
- Viewing activities as requirements instead of opportunities. We don’t have to participate in every educational, church, business, or social function that comes along. We can view them as opportunities, not requirements.
- Neglected tasks. Work we procrastinate doing hangs over us. Dread or guilt saps our strength. Completion of the job brings rest.
- Misguided effort to get more done. This is pushing to cross another thing off the list when we should put up our feet a few minutes and sip a cup of tea.
- Overloaded schedules. We can pack less in a day.
- Failure to delegate/perfectionism. Combine these for “I gotta do it myself.” We can let others learn.
- Doing tough jobs in our “lowest” time of day. This is not entirely avoidable. Still, if we tackle our toughest jobs when our brains and physical energy are strong, then we “gain” time and energy. I can do a task better in the morning in a third of the time it takes in the evening.
- No boundaries. Sometimes we’ve taught colleagues and family we don’t need rest. We take every project or run to fetch whatever is wanted. We can teach others to respect rest. We can courteously decline – if optional. If appropriate, we can say, “No, not now. These are Mom’s Minutes to be quiet.” We can establish a daily rest time for the household (not necessarily sleep).
- Excessive TV or computer. These can be our default behavior when we want rest. Overdone, they can lead to more fatigue because they can disturb or dull us mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Long term sitting works against heart and muscle strength.
- Acting as if rest is optional. It’s required.
What “rest busters” snatch your time?