Taming the Busy Monster
by Dawn Aldrich
…keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord, your God. Ezekiel 20: 19b-20
Rest. Simply stop.
But, it’s not always that easy is it?
Society screams above God’s whisper to rest and shouts “Go! Go! Go! Don’t stop, keep going!” It’s like we measure success by how busy we are until there’s nothing more left to squeeze out of us by day’s end. And the worse part? Society wants us to repeat that every. single. day. Seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, minus a week’s vacation if you’re lucky. Oh, and on that vacation? Don’t rest. Go, go, go some more. Pack as much “busy fun” into your week to make up for the previous 51 work weeks.
Whew! I’m exhausted just writing that paragraph. Nap, please?
So, as Christians, what’s the big deal about rest? Here’s a few thoughts:
Rest is ordained. After creating the universe in six days, God ordained rest as Genesis 2:2 states:
On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.
Rest is holy. It allows us space to breathe, to listen and to worship. God knew our bodies, minds and souls needed refreshment; down time to heal and process and rejuvenate our creativity as well as worship our Creator. Exodus 20:11 explains it this way:
This is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Rest is healing. When our physical, emotional, creative and spiritual health suffers due to anemic rest, we break. And even then, when our bodies try forcing rest upon us, we fight it. We will ourselves to “get up and be better”. We ignore our symptoms and forge ahead despite the still small voice that says, “rest”. But, if we let him, God will use rest to heal our emotional and physical maladies. It’s then, when our schedules clear and our distractions disappear that we can finally hear Him; finally allow the Holy Spirit to move in our lives.
If rest is so holy and healing, then what about work? God never said don’t work. Work and creativity has always been part of God’s plan for us.
The Lord God placed man in the Garden of Eden to tend watch over it. Genesis 2:15 (NLT)
But, God created a day for rest and worship. Taming that Busy Monster that lurks over our shoulders or shouts above the crowd, is key:
- Build a work ethic – work hard and efficient while on the job
- Set boundaries – protect your family time, creative time, and Sabbath days
- Say “no” – to projects, ministries and outings that zap you and overstep your boundaries
- Be brave – stop feeling guilty while resting. View rest as holy, God-ordained time
Father-God, thank you for thinking of everything, especially rest. While the world shouts “do more”, help us to stop and rest and listen to your still, small voice that beckons us to come away with you to a quiet place. Remind us that resting in you not only brings healing and break through, but it’s holy and ordained. It’s through rest that we worship and commune with you and our hearts, minds and bodies are made whole again. Amen