What’s Your Price Tag?

Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are reposting some of our favorite articles because we believe they’re just as important today as ever. We hope you’re challenged to think of rest in a fresh new way. 

choose to restThere is a price to be paid for our chronic exhaustion.  For some people it’s apparent in the here and now: fleeting joy, fragmented relationships. Sometimes it comes and goes: bouts of sleepless nights, depression, illness.  Some people seemingly sail through their overload, but in the end 5, 15 or 30 years are extracted from their lives.

What’s the cost of your overload? 

Is it worth the price tag?

Ask Yourself Honestly

Three important questions come to mind when I take a look at the future state of my rest and unrest.

What do I need?

What do I want?

Am I willing to pay the price? 

What do I need?  A lot.  The dentist tells me I need to floss.  My doctor tells me I need to lose 15 pounds.  The government tells me I need to pay my taxes.  My kids tell me I need to dye the gray out of my hair.

Since our basic needs for clean water, food, safety and shelter are typically met, most of my needs are really a matter of wants. My wants are driven by 1) my pursuit of a reward or 2) my desire to avoid negative consequences.

Seeking the reward or suffering the consequence of flossing (or not flossing), dieting/exercising or dyeing my hair have not yet risen to the top of my to do list.  Paying taxes is not a want, but I seek to avoid the painful consequences, so I am willing to pay the price of seeing that it gets done.

The real question behind needs and wants in modern society is: Am I willing to pay the price?

There is a price to be paid for our exhaustion.

There is a price to be paid for our restoration.

Rest does not come free.

It requires a radical revision of thinking and beliefs. It demands an alteration of how life unfolds. The cost is high.  It’s painful to face the reality of our own limits.  It’s brutal to disappoint others and perhaps, even more brutal to disappoint ourselves.  But the consequences of not attending to our basic needs for rest are staggering.  The rewards are out of this world.

The first step I’d like you to consider is a very short inventory and assessment. James A. Garfield once said, “The truth will set you free, but first it might make you miserable.This inventory is short.  Very short.  I hate tests.  I hate the time they take.  I also recognize test anxiety.  When I take a test I know what an inventory is looking for so authentic results can be easily skewed. I’ve kept this in mind in case you’re like me.

Assessment

Are you happy?  (Joy, yes.  But are there things in your life that make you happy?)

Are you healthy?

Are you holy?  (Think fruit. Self-control, patience, goodness, love…)

Are you whole?  (How wide is the gap between your public self and private world?)

The real key to this four-question assessment is to hand it off to someone who knows you well.  It may give you a more accurate (however painful) assessment.  I double dutch dare you.  It might even launch a very intriguing conversation.

Inventory

Place a check mark in front of every question that is 100% true.  This is a snapshot of your life today, not all time and eternity.  It gives you information about this moment in time.

  1. ____ In the last 4 weeks I’ve enjoyed 4 days off—days that were refreshing and care-free…with minimal “work” around the house.
  2. ____ This last week I’ve had five nights of 7-8 hours of sleep.
  3. ____ I experience the Presence of God on a regular basis in personal devotions. (I spend much time talking to God, as I do about God each week.)
  4. ____ I took a full-day of personal retreat in the last 6 months.
  5. ____ I enjoyed 4 evenings this last week with no out-of-the-home obligations.
  6. ____ I took all my vacation time last year.

____ Total check marks

Scores

Score: 0-3  You are running on the fumes of an empty tank whether you realize it or not.  There’s a better way.  It’s found in the rhythm—run hard. rest well.  A paradigm shift must take place in your heart.  Rest is not a sign of weakness.  It is a gift, a grace, a rhythm of life for those who surrender all—including the time it takes to rest.  The vibrancy of your ministry, the well-being of your soul and the health of your family depend on it.

Score:  4  You are familiar with rejuvenating aspects of rest and renewal (well done good and faithful servant!), but gaps remain.  You know how to run hard and you are aware of what it means to rest well.  Now take a look at your physical, emotional, spiritual, relational reserves. What are your strengths?  Where can you improve?  Expand your horizons.  What needs attention?  Explore how “resting well” will bring new realms of vibrancy to an area where you’re serving with a self-imposed limp. 

Score: 5-6  Ah! The life-giving rhythms of rest are established in your life.  You have adopted God’s ways and not the worlds.  The fruit of well-being is yours to enjoy—and pass along to others.  Stay the course.  Your life is a walking billboard.  Be intentional about sharing the story of your journey into the rhythms of rest.  You have a remarkable opportunity to light the way.

Rest.  Do you need it?  Do you want it?  Are you willing to pay the price it demands?

This week, set aside a block of one to three hours to – not work.  Plan for it.  Anticipate it.  Guard it.  The only requirement of this time is to do something that brings delight. Splurge on a special cup of coffee.  Have lunch with a friend.  Make a date with your pillow. Get outside.  Turn off your phone.  Release yourself from all demands.  Step into this time completely, utterly guilt-free.  Why?

Because rest is holy.

The first thing God called holy was not himself, the act of worship or the splendor of creation.  The first thing God called holy was time set apart to rest (Genesis 2:3).

When I choose to rest, I am participating in what God calls holy.

Rest. Taste and see. 

Do you need it?  Do you want it?  Are you willing to engage in that which is holy?

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.

The Rest Revolution

Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are reposting some of our favorite articles because we believe they’re just as important today as ever. We hope you’re challenged to think of rest in a fresh new way. Rest is near and dear to the heart of God

Rest is near and dear to the heart of God, yet glaringly absent from our lives.

We know how to run hard.

We don’t know how to rest well.

Bottom line – rest is not a reward.

You can’t earn it.

You don’t deserve it.

It’s not a sign of weakness or inability. Rest is a matter of obedience, stewardship and delight. It’s a priority (a call to sanity) that is too important to neglect any longer.

Why?

Rest equips us to the run the race in a power not our own and it’s time for God’s people to engage—guilt-free.

Will you join us on this journey to revolutionize rest?

What’s your greatest challenge with rest? We’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Facebook – join the conversation! 

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.

Weak and Empty

The thought captivated me.Weak and empty not a crime

“More than knowing Him, God wants me to need Him.”

I know Him. Do I need Him? Do I acknowledge that need?

On a regular basis I need direction, hope, courage, healing, truth, land love. We need all that and more, but there’s a need in our lives we often fail to identify. We are desperately needy. We are finite and prone to emptiness.

Our tanks run dry.

Our bodies fail.

Our souls wither.

We need to be filled, fueled, fortified. Our mountain trek is too hard, too daunting, too demanding. It requires more than we have. Running weak and empty is not a crime. Say that out loud. Running weak and empty is not a crime. In this truth there is no shame. Being empty is a daily, weekly reality. It’s a way of life and it’s a beautiful way of life. Why? Because it causes us to come empty handed to the One who is Infinite and Able. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says it best.

Starting next week, we’re relaunching a series of blog posts, which invite us to a life of rhythm and rest, where running hard is a joy and resting well is a commitment we are no longer willing to forfeit. These posts explore the practical “how to’s” of rest for the 21st century with 4 biblical rhythms: Sabbath, Sleep, Stillness (personal prayer) and Solitude (personal retreat).

2015 stands before us. Are you up for a challenge?

  1. Pray about it. It’s an invitation that will take you out of the desert into the Promised Land. It requires a leap of faith, however. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  2. Make it an expedition, not just a journey. Ask a friend, a coworker, your spouse, your small group to sign up for the blog and join you. Embracing the motto Run hard. Rest well. is a counter-cultural move. The buddy system creates an arena for dialogue, encouragement and accountability…key factors in turning our desire for change into a reality of transformation.
  3. Continue to pray. As rhythms of rest take hold of your life, you will become a natural model and mentor for others, an opportunity that is both a privilege and a responsibility. Learning how to rest well sets us up for a life of treasures instead of trinkets.

Now to Him who is able to to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us us… Ephesians 3:20

Amen!

 

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.

Tethered

psalm 61.2A large, noisy machine gives life to my 21 year old son, every minute of every day. Josh is in Hospice Care and he is utterly dependent on an Oxygen Concentrator that delivers 8 liters of 02 to his lungs 24/7. Josh lives a tethered life.

For all the power found in that expensive machine, it’s useless without a $5, 50-foot length of green tubing and a $.50 adapter. Useless.

In our early days of Josh’s Hospice Care (and scared out of our minds) we had a number of little crises that taught us the value of the tether. Josh’s life depends on it.

Kind of like God.

Kind of like rest.

We live and serve and are sustained by the infinite, Almighty God. In Him we have all we need and more, but there has to be a delivery system. There are multiple delivery systems, but the one that tethers me most fully to the best of what God has for me is the time I set aside to rest.

Rest is a mysterious thing to me, especially Sabbath rest. As a type A, work-horse human being, rest does not make logical sense to me. Even after years of being committed, I still do not understand the “how” behind it, except that it changes me. Re-creates me. Refuels me. Connects me to God through a means not of my own doing. It is a mystery, a beautiful mystery, a mystery I’ve come to love.

God’s Sabbath command is remarkably simple. Halt. Stop. Cease.

Plenty of people do that these days, but their halting is limited to mindless entertainment and addictive amusements. There is nothing wrong, in moderation, of choosing to relax and unwind through the entertainment we find in TV, movies, cell phones and social media. It just can’t be the whole shebang.

What is a rest that truly restores?

It’s a rest done with intent and a mindfulness that I am participating in what God deems holy (Genesis 2:3). It is fully anchored in the towering Rock that never fails (Psalm 61:2).

Rest is a matter of the heart.

Mine.

And His.

It’s a tether I will never live without.

 

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.

The best top 10 of 2014

TOP 10Tis the season for “Top 10” lists! Every December we’re met with a litany of “bests”, from top movies, books, and music, to news stories, events, and even baby names. Unless you quit the internet for the month, you can’t escape the season of lists. There’s something about boiling down our state of affairs that captures our fancy. Here’s a few fun lists from 2014:

Top 10 Science stories of 2014

Most popular vehicles of 2014

Top 10 Cover Songs of 2014

Everyone should have a top 10 list, don’t you think? So, with a spirit of gratitude for all that we’ve seen and done this year, Run Hard. Rest Well. humbly submits our Top 10 list…

Run Hard. Rest Well. Gratitude Top 10

10) Board meeting – We met for the first time in November to discuss plans and goals for the coming year. The Lord has brought together a dedicated group who believes in the RHRW purpose as much as I do.

9) Advisory team – I have been so blessed by the enthusiasm of a select group of professionals who have come along side me to strengthen the RHRW message with their insights and expertise in the medical, legal, non-profit and financial fields.

8) 501c3 – The learning curve was high on this one! But we persevered and have conquered the mountain of paperwork in order to gain non-profit status! Praise the Lord!

7) Business plan – We received the tremendous gift of a preliminary business plan from an MBA group in Chicago. This has guided and advised many steps in our launch season.

6) Donations – RHRW was blessed to receive $18,000 via the estate of one of our earliest supporters.  While he is dearly missed, the magnitude of his support has carried us through much of this year.

5) Volunteers – A small but loyal core of volunteers has seen RHRW through the large and small tasks of the past couple years, all the way up to this critical time of launching into an official ministry. We wouldn’t be where we are today without many incredible gifts of time and talent.

4) Networking – Each week, it seems, God grants me the gift of another conversation with someone who is passionate about the topic of rest, gifted in the science of rest, or desperately in need of rest. These conversations are invigorating and validating to the message of RHRW.

3) Consulting – We have been on both the giving and receiving ends of some excellent consultations; sharing our message with ministries and businesses who are ready for change and learning from seasoned professionals has brought much clarity as we organize and prepare to launch.

2) Clients – Requests are beginning to come in for session and retreat dates in 2015. We’re excited to move into the beta phase of our Vantage Point workshop.

1) You – Our faithful friends and readers. Your engagement on this blog encourages me when days are long and words come slow. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for sharing. We could not do this without you.

Looking back, it’s clear God is moving through Run Hard. Rest Well. Just as we are reminded of His goodness, so too are we reminded of what’s at stake.  Leaders are running hard while rest is becoming a faint memory. But that’s exactly what makes our work so exciting!We can learn to rest

Friends, the time is right for Run Hard. Rest Well. Weary people in every field and walk of life are ready, searching for a way to work, live and rest more fully. Are you one of them? How is your running and resting these days? For so many people today, business leaders, pastors, parents, teachers, ministry directors, and more, the demands are mounting and rest is a forgotten art.  But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can learn to rest. We look forward with great anticipation to 2015 carrying with us the weight of this reality.

Do a quick exercise for me; it’ll just take a minute. Write the word ‘Empty’ at the top of a piece of paper. Now, list everyone you can think of who’s running on empty. Long hours, heavy decisions, limited resources, conflicting demands…they take a toll if rest isn’t a priority. What would you give to see the people on your list operating at their prime with passion and energy fully restored? Let’s teach them to rest! Will you join us in 2015 to help us bring our message of rest to the weary runners around you? There are three significant ways you can participate:

  1. Pray. Your prayers have carried me, my family and the RHRW message to the foot of the Throne for years. That must continue.
  2. Share. Tell your friends. Send them to our website or find us on Facebook and share our messages. The more who know the more we grow!
  3. Give. As a non-profit ministry your gift to RHRW is tax deductible. If you’re still pondering your year-end giving, may I humbly propose that you take advantage of a recent matching donation and make a donation today to help us launch strong? Your financial gift right now will be doubled, helping “me” become “we” so this message can go where God chooses to take it.

Did you know that $99 will help us teach one weary runner to rest more fully? Imagine the businesses, ministries, families, lives that can be restored if each person reading this blog were to partner with us to bring the RHRW message to at least one leader! Friends, the momentum of our message can’t go forward without your support. We know that there are many ways for you to donate your resources and we don’t take that lightly. We are grateful for your support, no matter what form it takes. Won’t you prayerfully consider joining our cause?

Donate Now

 

What does your year-end “Top 10” list look like?   

 

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.