Ever wonder about rest? I mean, what is it really? Sitting at the local coffee shop, making fun of the traffic flow that you aren’t in at the moment? Don’t deny we all do it from time to time.
But ya know, rest is not doing nothing. It’s a conscious act to cease activity, for a moment, in order to do more of what I do.
Whoa. That sounds so, so, self-aggrandizing. And fake smart. Like all those inspirational posters, meant to instill some greater sense of purpose in the work place. Truth be told, sense of purpose comes from the heart, not by looking at an enhanced photo of an iceberg. Or a jumping blue whale.
And back to the point, what is rest and how do we achieve it. Should we even try to achieve it? Funny thing about rest, God says it is a gift so important that to ignore the gift brings death.
Discussed this thing of rest with friends a few evenings ago. How it’s one of the Ten Commandments, and how in the Old Testament, violating this particular commandment had fatal consequences. Then in the New Testament, Jesus says the Sabbath, the day of rest, was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So binge-watching every single episode of the original Magnum P.I. is good? Hmmm. Can’t really ever get those hours back. Or undo those last 20 games of Sudoku.
Not sure that’s what Jesus was talking about.
What if…and I’m just posing the question…What if it’s true the Sabbath was made for man and what if, ignoring a day of rest brought not just a judicial death sentence but a more damaging spiritual death?
How’d that look?
We need rest. And whether it’s the nine-to-five job or beating the laundry into submission while prepping dinner, as we shuffle kids to and fro, work is part of life. We need rest from work.
And yet to lay around, sit for endless hours, mind captive to whatever floats through the ether is also death. Endless tv, or hours of sitting even in an office chair damages the body, numbs the soul and dulls the brain into an inability to function. That is not setting a specific time apart as holy, sacred.
When awake, infants move all the time, constantly exploring the immediate world. Kids play with each other, talk, try new things and learn about everything. Teenagers, even the quiet ones, gravitate toward action, either in watching it or taking part. Adults spend resources on hobbies, work, plans for vacations, all the stuff of life.
All that action slows for periodic naps, sleep, quiet gazing at nothing in particular because the enjoyment of the moment, the rest for body and spirit restores us. The commandment to rest is for our good. Abusing that commandment, in too much or not enough, always leads to death.
Death of dreams, death of joy. The cessation of Life.
Life comes from the One who created Life. Resting in that awareness is true rest, which may not mean no activity. Or look like just chillin’.
So, yeah. Rest is not doing nothing. It is living life to the full, in abundance. Which is what Jesus promised. Whoda thunk it.