Admittedly, rest is hard for me.
It is so challenging for me that I once read a book called, “When I Relax, I Feel Guilty.” The title aptly described my attitude.
As a type A personality, I’m driven to achieve. My StrengthsFinder assessment description literally reads, “You wake up every morning starting at zero…”
I do wake up every morning starting at “zero” and then feel the need to tackle everything on my to-do list as fast as possible.
This is a great character trait in terms of productivity, but not so much when it comes to rest. In fact, it can lead to sin. Yes. It can lead to sin, because I can buy the lie that my worth is measured by what I achieve. I can also be far too reliant upon my own strength and sheer determination, instead of relying on God.
At the recommendation of a couple of friends, I recently read “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” and “Reset.” Both books helped me to reconsider the pace at which I often live and the motivation behind my driven personality. Let’s just say that I have some work to do.
What about you?
Perhaps, like me, you struggle with how to rest. Even when you are given the day off, you are not sure what to do. You might even equate rest with laziness. Therefore, when you try to rest, it’s not restful because you feel guilty about not getting anything done. Let me assure you, resting well and being lazy are not the same thing. Although God’s Word does warn against laziness (Proverbs 19:15), it also encourages (and even commands) people to rest (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:1-11).
Because rest doesn’t come naturally to me, I’ve come up with a simple acronym to help remind myself of what it looks like to R.E.S.T.:
R – Rejoice! There is so much to rejoice over and be thankful for! As I learn how to rest, I am reminded to spend that time reflecting on the character of God and His goodness to me. Do things that stir your affections for God and rejoice!
E – Examine. When I do make it a point to slow down, I’ve found it super helpful to examine my heart in light of what Scripture says. The best way for me to do this is through journaling. I examine my “gauges” and how well I’m doing spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and physically.
S – Silence. Turn it all off! Yes. Turn off your phone. (You can do it). Get away from your computer and most certainly shut off your email. Turn off the noise. Listen. The silence may be deafening at first, but you will learn to enjoy it. Try it.
T – Trust. Trust in the Lord’s provision. He will supply what you need, so you don’t need to worry about all the things you could be doing to be productive today. The God who was able to multiply the fish and loaves (Matthew 14:13-21) cares for your needs as well.
I hope you don’t fill every day with errands and busyness, but that you enjoy some R.E.S.T.