For a while I’ve been taking more and more of an interest in the concept of rest as a discipline, the idea of sabbath and how important it is in our culture. The idea that while its important to be disciplined in the things you do – for me it would be work, writing, studying and running – its also important to be disciplined in the amount of rest you have, and to make it proper rest, rather than just ‘chilling out’. This will be different for everyone as we are all different, but I would say its whatever you can’t imagine your life without, whatever you can’t get through a day without, the things you do all the time, that you need be thinking about taking a break from – whether its for an evening or a whole day. For me it would be the following:
Turn off my mobile phone.
Turn off my computer.
Not do any studying or writing at all, or anything condusive to doing that.
Not having any of these things going on would be a big challenge to me. But the thing we need to remember is that we weren’t designed to be on the go 24/7. We weren’t designed to be working all the time and pushing ourselves to the limit. God designed us with a need to rest and we all need to take that very seriously, and approach rest differently – not just as something we do when we happen not to be busy, but as a decision, a discipline.
I think this is a topic that needs to be addressed more than ever.
The strange thing, as an aside, is that this week I asked God to show me what project He wanted me to work on, and a friend had told me that it needed to be something that’s part of my story. In my illness and tiredness, and what it showed about me and my life, I think God may well have given me His answer.
Consider this an introduction to the subject of rest and the sabbath in today’s culture. I get the sense that in the coming months and years there may be a lot more from me on this subject.