Rest in the 21st Century

What wreaks havoc in the typical modern home? Greed? Anger? Anxiety? The TV remote? Nope, it’s time. There’s never enough and the daily grind of hurry, exhaustion and overload is extracting a price that is unraveling our homes, our hearts and our hunger for God. Too many of us are positioned to self-destruct.

When asked, “How are you” our answer is no longer “fine”, but “busy”. It’s the ruthless badge of honor we proudly wear as people in our modern world. We’re loving the Lord, serving our corner of the world, caring for our families—right? But far from running the race with joy, we’re sporting a self-imposed limp, puttering and sputtering along on the fumes of a dangerously depleted tank.

Deep within, when no one is around, we silently whisper, “Is this all there is?”

Rhythm

Night and day. Winter and summer. Hardwired into the fabric of creation is the rhythm of life—of rest and productivity. Modern technology has created a culture with no rhythm. There’s no “off” switch. Life is lived on “on.” It’s loud, taxing and the lure is relentless. Most of us have been swept into a way of life that no longer honors the God-given rhythms of life—much less Abundant Life. The rhythms of rest, far from being an outdated relic from antiquity, may be the very thing waiting to revive our withered, weary souls.

The ability to work is gift from our Creator. So is rest. Not only was it created in the heart of God, it’s the first thing he called holy (Genesis 2:3). The rhythm of work and rest is the rhythm of life. One without the other is like a clanging cymbal in our ears, and God’s. Our job is to break the vice grip that our 24/7 culture has on us and begin to embrace the hard work of rest—which is the holy work of God.

Rest

My journey into rest began 20 years ago. It’s been a roller coaster. Acting out of sheer obedience to the 4th Commandment * (once I swallowed hard and admitted I had been neglecting it my entire life) I moved into Sabbath Keeping kicking and screaming. No lie. It was, and continued to be for many years, the worst day of my week. Having derived my value as a human being from what I could efficiently accomplish in any given day, I had no idea how to let down and relax.

After many tiresome years, Marva Dawn’s Keeping the Sabbath Wholly helped me see rest as a gift to be unwrapped, not a fate to endure.  She painted a picture that was riveting and grounded in God’s Word. She cast a vision for a day of restoration that far exceeded my own vision: Go to worship. Eat pot-roast.

Since that time, I have embarked on a journey into the rhythms of rest. The Bible speaks about a number of rhythms: daily, weekly, yearly. Allowed free reign in my life, they have transformed me, revived me and sculpted me inside and out. Driven and passionate, I would not be here today without them. Learning how to rest well has allowed me to run hard. I continue to break a sweat each day, but now I do it with a joy fueled and fashioned by God’s plan and purpose for rhythm and rest. (* Catholic & Lutheran believers mark Sabbath Keeping as the 3rd Commandment—all others, the 4th.)

Where Do I Begin?

Are you ready to take a step in the right direction? Sometime this week set aside one guilt-free hour to rest, better yet, make it two. If you’re a parent, get creative and create some kid-free time—somehow. Unplug completely. (Don’t answer the phone!) Lounge. Nap. Get outside. Feel the wind in your face. Take a walk. Breathe. Breathe deeply. Listen to the birds. Watch the clouds. Be aware of the tension in your neck and shoulders. Do something that delights you—garden, bake, golf, read.

As you allow yourself time to catch your breath, keep this truth before you.

I am participating in what God calls holy.

Run hard—yes! But rest well—guilt-free, embracing what God longs for us to enjoy.

Is This Your 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.

 

First time here?

Categories Rest

4 thoughts on “Rest in the 21st Century”

  1. Beautiful as always. I find myself pushing….not because of guilt or expectations, but because of connection. I need people. If they won’t come to me and love on me, then I will go where they are to hug, so I get hugged back, to smile, so someone smiles back, to speak….to be acknowledged as a person, validated. Sometimes this works, but sometimes, I find it backfires and I am devalued. Then, for days, I go back to my room with a heavy heart and no hope. It is then I most need rest. I need to feel the love only Jesus can provide as I lean back into His love and feel His arms surround me. But this doesn’t come quickly or easily. It’s a hard place to find when you have been hurt.

    • Betty,
      As the Body of Christ, we have much work to do to remember that Jesus came to the earth for people…not for programming. We must all be investing in people…deeply, prayerfully, fully. BUT, in our time-starved existence, we have no time for people. Jesus weeps and the masses of humanity (you and me and every single person) are lonely. Keep loving and hugging and going — YOU are a light to lonely hearts. Love and prayers!

    • Dennis, This is a message we all need to hear again and again.
      Praying the Truth of it sinks and settles gently into your heart and your life.
      Blessings, Brenda

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