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The Importance of Rest

Starting at a new church is a time consuming effort. Over the past of couple of weeks I have begun visiting households in my congregation, getting to know people, their stories, and their history with Laurel. All these conversations take time, and I am tired. But there are more conversations to be had, more things to do, more, more, more. And the “more” that needs to be done isn’t just superfluous stuff – it’s important!

God prescribes a simple solution to this somewhat complex problem. Rest. Rest was important enough to make it into the Ten Commandments.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to theLord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

The writer of the Law understood something very basic about human beings. We are not made to go all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52+ weeks per year. Our bodies, our minds, and our spirits all require time of resting, of re-creation. Then when we return to our work we can have God’s priorities in mind, God’s creative power in our spirit, God’s energy flowing through our bodies.

When was the last time you took a day and rested, where the only activity you did was meditate, worship, pray, and be still? If you can’t remember, do not worry. There is grace here, not judgement. There is a gentle nudge here, not a club over the head. Try rest. The world will not end if you don’t answer your phone, do e-mail, write a blog post. Try, and see what God can do in you when you stop doing.

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