By Brenda Jank
There is a price to be paid for our chronic exhaustion. For some people it’s apparent in the here and now: fleeting joy, fragmented relationships. Sometimes it comes and goes: bouts of sleepless nights, depression, illness. Some people seemingly sail through their overload, but in the end 5, 15, or 30 years are extracted from their lives.
What’s the cost of your overload?
There is a price to be paid for our exhaustion.
There is a price to be paid for our restoration.
Which one are you more willing to pay?
Rest does not come free.
It requires a radical revision of thinking and beliefs. It demands an alteration of how life unfolds. The cost is high. It’s painful to face the reality of our own limits. It’s brutal to disappoint others and perhaps, even more brutal to disappoint ourselves. But the consequences of not attending to our basic needs for rest are staggering. The rewards are out of this world.Is it worth the price tag?
The first step I’d like you to consider is taking a simple, 6-Question Inventory. James A. Garfield once said, “The truth will set you free, but first it might make you miserable.” Sometimes ‘miserable’ is the wake-up call we require.
Take the inventory below or take it on our website here.
- ____ In the last 4 weeks I’ve enjoyed 4 days off – days that were refreshing and care-free . . . with minimal “work” around the house.
- ____ This last week I’ve had five nights of 7-8 hours of sleep.
- ____ I experience the Presence of God on a regular basis in personal devotions. (I spend as much time talking to God, as I do about God each week.)
- ____ I took a full-day of personal retreat in the last 6 months.
- ____ I enjoyed 4 evenings this last week with no out-of-the-home obligations.
- ____ I took all my vacation time last year.
____ Total check marks
Score: 0-3 You are running on the fumes of an empty tank whether you realize it or not. There’s a better way. It’s found in the rhythm – run hard. rest well. A paradigm shift must take place in your heart. Rest is not a sign of weakness. It is a gift, a grace, a rhythm of life for those who surrender all – including the time it takes to rest. The vibrancy of your ministry, the well-being of your soul, and the health of your family depend on it.
Score: 4 You are familiar with rejuvenating aspects of rest and renewal (well done good and faithful servant!), but gaps remain. You know how to run hard and you are aware of what it means to rest well. Now take a look at your physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational reserves. What are your strengths? Where can you improve? Expand your horizons. What needs attention? Explore how “resting well” will bring new realms of vibrancy to an area where you’re serving with a self-imposed limp.
Score: 5-6 Ah! The life-giving rhythms of rest are established in your life. You have adopted God’s ways and not the world’s. The fruit of well-being is yours to enjoy – and pass along to others. Stay the course. Your life is a walking billboard. Be intentional about sharing the story of your journey into the rhythms of rest. You have a remarkable opportunity to light the way.
Call to Action
Rest. Do you need it? Do you want it? Are you willing to pay the price it demands?
This week, set aside a block of one to three hours to – do no work. Plan for it. Prioritize it. Guard it. The only requirement of this time is to do something that brings delight. Splurge on a special cup of coffee. Have lunch with a friend. Make a date with your pillow. Get outside. Turn off your phone. Release yourself from all demands. Step into this time completely, utterly guilt-free. Why?
Because rest is holy.
The first thing God called holy was not himself, the act of worship, or the splendor of creation. The first thing God called holy was time set apart to rest (Genesis 2:3).
When I choose to rest, I am participating in what God calls holy.
Taste and see.
Do you need it? Do you want it? Are you willing to engage in that which God calls holy?
Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are re-posting some of our favorite articles because we believe they are just as important today as ever. We hope to encourage and inspire you and those you love and lead to REST WELL through this time of Covid-19 crisis, comeback, and recovery. Onward!
- Would you like to start at the beginning and read this whole series? Click here.
- Would you like to read the next post in this series? Click here.
- Feel free to pass these on to others via email or through Facebook.