The Truth About Rest

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Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Psalm 127:1-2

I’ve been revisiting the subject of rest lately, namely because it’s so easy for me to neglect it and burn out. I’ve written on this before, but I wanted to share some of my updated thinking on it.

  • Remember that you are a human being, not a machine. You are not designed or called to go nonstop. You need regular rest to function at your best.
  • Self-care is not selfish; it’s an act of service. Put on your oxygen mask so you can help others with theirs. Receive. Breathe. You can’t give what you don’t have.
  • God created then rested. Jesus ministered then withdrew. How much more should you? The best work flows from rest. The best rest flows from work.
  • Your rest is your responsibility. No one else can sleep for you. No one else can recharge for you.
  • At the end of the day, it’s not a question of if you will rest but if you will rest well. Will you be proactive about getting the rest you need or will you be reactive and put it off until the damage is already done?

Resting well requires discipline. For me, it means getting adequate sleep every night, taking time every evening to unwind, managing my energy throughout the day, being aware of when my tank is low and doing what’s necessary to refill it, eating well/exercising/taking care of my health, staying connected to the source of life (God), being around energizing people, scheduling regular time to get away/zoom out/reflect/look ahead, having healthy boundaries, and resisting the temptation to make life all about work. Some days are better than others, but it’s something to shoot for.

What does rest look like for you?

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Author: Dave Mierau (Meer-oh)

Christ follower, family man, lifelong learner.

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