Week 3: Roadblocks

Roadblocks

Buried in the collective mindset of Western culture and deep within our own hearts is the notion that rest is not an activity for the movers and shakers of this world. Rest is not for the vibrant and passionate, but for the decrepit who live in “rest homes” and for the dead who we encourage to “rest in peace.”

Still, we all can attest to a very real need for rest. It bears down upon us with a crushing force. So we flirt with rest. Entertainment and escape top the list. Entertainment (TV, movies, sporting events, digital gadgets, etc.) is a part of rest, when enjoyed in moderation. Too often, however, it’s the sole beneficiary of our attention. In excessive doses, these activities do not refresh, recharge or refuel.

Escape is another thing. There is a darkness to escape. These activities are often done in secret and we become caught in their grip. In the end they leave us empty and reeling, often unraveling all we hold dear.

Why do entertainment and escape get the best of our attention? Because we do not have a theology of rest so we fall back on the definition of rest sculpted and crafted by the world, a definition focused on entertainment and escape.

What is your definition of rest? Have you ever spent time thinking that through?

If we dig a little deeper, what factors influenceyour definition of rest?

There are eight heavy hitters. We’re going to take a look at six today.

  1. The Puritan Work Ethic America was founded on a value of work chiseled into the core of our being. Hard work and delayed rewards built a strong, growing economy. This value of work is seen in our ideas concerning vacation. Many Americans are excited about getting away for a long weekend. Many Europeans on the other hand, value vacations lasting two, three, four weeks in length. Different mindsets. Different values.

  1. Home Life Did your parents place a high value on work and accomplishment? Or did they have a more relaxed approach to life? There’s a good chance their values rubbed off on you. More is caught than taught. There’s a good chance, too, that if your parents valued hard work, your sense of self-esteem might hinge on your sense of accomplishment. Is that you?

  1. Your Personality We are wired from birth—fearfully and wonderfully made. Are you known more (not exclusively) for being “responsible and organized” or “fun-loving, relaxed or imaginative?” Both tendencies have unique gifts to offer the world of work and rest. For a deeper look into this topic, visit the drop-down menu called Personality Matters located in the tab Digging Deeper. You have a natural bent. Understanding that bent and the deeply held convictions it breeds is important work on the journey to rest.

  1. The Church The church teaches us to love, serve, forgive, tithe, and pray, but have you ever been taught how to rest? Rest well? It’s an area where the church falls painfully short. Rest is not valued, prioritized or modeled by our leaders and mentors. Few take the road less traveled.

  1. Our Disregard and Contempt for Limits Mindy Caliguire, founder of Soul Care, reminds us that our “refusal to live within our ‘God-designed’ limits is the root of many evils in our lives.” Here’s my favorite quote from her. Do I frequently desire to be more than I am? My calendar reveals this issue in my life. When scheduling I’m not always realistic about the limits of my time or energy. And as a result, my ‘masked’ self (super-human self), who does not want to disappoint others or wishes to appear more capable, says “yes” to too many things. My ‘masked’ self has agreed to something my real self cannot sustain. As hard as it is for me to face, this kind of refusal to live within my ‘God-designed’ limits is the root of many evils in my life (creating for me a life that is) unmanageable at a level far deeper than the appearance of my closets. Amen to that truth. We have to ask ourselves, “Do I consider my need for rest and replenishment a design flaw?” It’s one of the most important questions I’ve had to ask myself and I’ve had to ask it more than once.

  1. The Myth of a Calmer Tomorrow We’ve all said it. We all believe it. “I’ll take a break when…this project wraps up…when the kids are back in school…when summer comes…when summer is over…” We try to convince ourselves that the end of “this madness, this relentless pace” is in sight. But that hope forever lingers on the horizon, eternally out of our grasp.

Rest. A definition I’ve come to live by is very simple. Rest is doing that which refreshes. This idea was planted by God in my heart through Moses in Exodus 23:12 (NIV). It resonates deep within.

What is your definition of rest? What does rest look like in your life?

What roadblocks stand in your way? External realities play a role (no doubt!), but how often are we hindered by internal beliefs and baggage that stand in the way?

Were you able to carve out time this past week to do something that delights you?

Will you commit to doing something this week that will refresh you—10, 20, 30 minutes worth? Anything. Something refreshing.

You won’t be disappointed.

Is This Your First Time Here?

Welcome!

I’d like to invite you to check out the How To Begin tab at the top. This blog launched in March 2013 as an invitation to a 12-week exploration into the power and purpose of rest. It’s easy for people to join, however, at any time. The How to Begin drop-down introduction is very short, but will prove helpful. In time, I’d also like to encourage you to read the first 12 posts on the right hand side. Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.

God’s richest blessings.

Brenda

First time here?

4 thoughts on “Week 3: Roadblocks”

  1. BRENDA, I SO MUCH ENJOYED YOUR “ROAD BLOCKS” RECEIVED IN THIS MORNING’S EMAIL.

    I have a simple yet I think profound thought to lay at your door step. One that I have not seen in your writings to this point, nor have I found it to any extent in my reading of other authors.

    Jesus summarized the commandments with two great commandments in Matthew 22, which you are well aware of. More than the Rich Man’s question of who is my neighbor, Jesus responded with how we are to love our neighbor. This second great commandment is “Love your neighbor * A S* YOURSELF.” (double emphasis mine)

    Jesus knows that in our fallen condition we are tempted to lose a balance in the choices we make daily. His priorities, NOT OURS, are the ones we especially must take note of. He states that His children are to love others in their need in the same way that they minister to themselves in their own needs. In this task it is well to note how easy it is to neglect the neighbor for some of us; but also how easy for others of us to neglect ourselves — and so* we lose the standard* (yardstick) for our service toward others. Each one of us has a proclivity toward an imbalance, one way or the other, or even both ways. I don’t know if I have made this as clear as I hoped.

    This additional consideration may merit further elucidation in your writing about REST. POP

    > > > > On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 7:37 AM, run hard. rest well. <

  2. wow! Thank you for breaking down how to rest well into separate categories. This makes so much sense. And it really is so relevant to today’s culture but also very overlooked. I am glad I found your site. It seems contrary to your message of resting well, but keep up the good work!

  3. Seems like resting is actually work….at least for those of us who have not been in the habit of resting well. The type of rest God mentions is intentional and planned- not necessarily easy or convenient. Isaiah 40:28-31 points out that unlike us, God does not grow tired or weary- and He promises to renew our strength when we rest in Him.
    Thanks for your encouragement to think through ‘rest’!

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