“If you don’t come away for a while, you will come apart for a while.”
We all need it.
Adults need 7.5 – 9 hours of rest each night.
We need to turn things off. Turn other things down. Stop moving. So we can get enough rest.
Muscles grow during the rest phase. Blood flows. Life comes. Replenishment follows.
Studies tells us that after a period of rest we are much more at peace. We have a better sense of who we are. We have renewed energy. We are creative again. The challenges and tensions of yesterday appear like opportunities today.
Rest is a luxury.
We have convinced ourselves that we are too busy to rest. We have to get it done. We have to stay at it a little longer. We can’t afford to stop. We have to get it all in.
There is the appointment. The hockey practice. The toys to pick up. And people to feed. Who has time to rest? That’s what old people do in their wheelchairs, or pastors on their days off. Rest is a luxury for people who have time on their hands.
Clearly, it is not something that is attainable.
And it’s certainly not something I have time for.
But the truth is we all need.
In fact, we can’t live without it.
We were made to rest.
Think about our kids.
After a good night’s rest, they are less likely to hit someone. They smile more. Play quieter. Eat better. They’re more content. And sometimes, they even get their homework done. We’re like that too.
When we slow down. Hit pause. Take a break. We discover things.
We learn that we have limits.
That we can’t do everything.
That we need to laugh.
Play a little.
Cry a little.
Resting makes us more human.
Relationships look a little better.
We see more.
It’s no wonder then that Jesus invited us to rest.
“Come away and rest awhile.”[i]
He knows us better than we know ourselves.
After all, He is the One who rested on the seventh day of creation.
He’s the One who told the people of Israel that when He goes with them they will have rest.[ii]
He’s the One who spoke through the prophets and promised relief from all the turmoil and striving.[iii]
And He’s the One who invited us to be still.[iv]
Mark Buchanan says that there’s some things we can only discover when we are when we are active and in motion, and then there’s other things that can only be discovered when we are still.[v]
It’s in rest that we find life again.
From the One who gives life.
Maybe our goal for this year is to rest a little more.
To respond to Jesus’ invitation.
Just for a while.
Come away and rest awhile.
[i] Mark 6:31.
[ii] Exodus 33:14.
[iii] Isaiah 14:3-4.
[iv] Psalm 46:7,10.
[v] Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God.