I’m going to do something important this weekend.
Yes, I know winter is coming. There is trash to take to the landfill, errands to run, and, well, things to do. But rest is a thing to do. And we need to do it. Rest helps us regain our perspective and reorder our priorities. It allows us to be more creative and focused. And it reminds us that we are not as necessary as we often imagine.
I like the story about Jesus and his disciples in Mark 6:30–32. The disciples came to Jesus to tell them how busy they had been and He said: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” I could tell you how busy I’ve been too. You have your own endless, overwhelming list. But we each need a solitary place, with rhythms in our life punctuated by silence.
In the Old Covenant you could be punished for being productive, at least on the Sabbath. Even under the New Covenant, “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:9–10 ESV)
Resting is some of the hardest work I do, especially given the ubiquity of my mobile devices. I can sit on the porch on a Saturday morning and have a cup of tea—but I have to leave my phone and my tablet and my laptop inside if I’m going to rest. Even then it takes a while to be in this moment, and not the next one.
Clearly, releasing our responsibilities for a while is not easy. We eat at our desk and work on our vacations. There is always laundry to do and yards to rake, errands to run and people to see.
But what does it look like to enter God’s rest?
For me, it is to know that He’s got it under control. That it doesn’t all depend on me. That His many promises include this one; “I will give you rest.”
So come Saturday morning, I’ll take it.