What if … We Take a Nap

Today’s post in the “What if … 10 ways to live well in today’s world” is another tough one for many of us. After contemplating what it means to do something instead of everything and understanding that sometimes good enough is enough, it’s time to learn how important it is to make resting a priority.

What if … we take a nap?

what if we take a nap?Jesus said He’d come so we could have “life abundantly” {John 10:10} and He promised us rest when we come to Him weary and heavy-laden {Matthew 11:28}. Far too often we try to create restful experiences and fail simply to come. Wandering into His presence in the midst of laundry or car lines, soccer practices and nap time, these are the opportunities for rest. Opportunities we must seek out and embrace. I love what Mark Buchanan says in The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath,

This is the gift of God: to experience the sacred amidst the commonplace – to taste heaven in our daily bread, a new heaven and new earth in a mouthful of wine, joy in the ache of our muscles or the sweat of our brows. {37}

To experience the sacred amidst the commonplace” — isn’t that the beauty of true biblical rest? We’re allowed, invited even, into the sacred place of resting in Him at any time.

We're allowed, invited even, into the sacred place of resting in Him at any time. http://wp.me/p3aJPA-22S Click To Tweet

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

If we were to rewrite this verse to reflect the truth in our lives, it would most likely say,

“Come to Facebook, all who whine and complain, and your friends will join you in your pity party.”

Sad, isn’t it? When we are heavy laden, when our labor feels in vain, when the days have worn us down, the first place we share our burden is with the masses on Facebook rather than the Lover of our Souls. Is it any wonder we don’t comprehend what true rest is? We’ve never sought it from the only source. We take a vacation to “get away from it all” and come back needing a vacation from our vacation. We take “mental health” days from work and play hooky from school because we “just need a break” and yet we come back wishing for another day so we could really relax.

Understanding the truth about what rest really is, a state of our spirit, a right orientation.

Rest is more than a nap on Sunday or a quiet moment on the beach. Rest is a state of our spirit—the right orientation, away from the things of this world and toward the Person of Christ.There is only one way to rest — in Him. Why do we continue to seek rest anywhere else?

Our world, even our church world, has made “busy” the most noble pursuit. We schedule and plan and fill each slot on our calendar with increasingly good things and slowly, we become idolators. We worship at the altar of busy. We lust for the feeling of checking things off our lists and we covet the praise of those who say, “I don’t know how you do it all.”

The beginning of rest is true worship … and, the reverse is true as well, the beginning of worship is true rest. The inextricable link between these two is profound: “Be still and know that I am God.” {Psalm 46:10}  As we slow ourselves – from the inside first – we become still and it is there, like Elijah, that we find God in the gentle whisper. {1 Kings 19:11-12}

The beginning of rest is true worship ... and the beginning of worship is true rest. http://wp.me/p3aJPA-22S Click To Tweet

That whisper is where is starts. A small touch on our hearts that beckons us come closer, to draw into His presence and dwell.

So, how do we engage in rest? What steps can we take to make resting a priority in our lives?

  1. Deep breathing.  I focus on literally inhaling and exhaling, taking long, deep breaths in and out.
  2. Create a routine.  For me, I sit in the same chair and light a candle and grab my coffee.  In the evenings I turn off the computer and read a book that challenges me. 
  3. Take care of ourselves physically.  Get enough sleep.  Eat right.  Exercise.  I’m finding that when I fail to be intentional about my physical health my spiritual health suffers as well.
  4. Prepare.   We have to consider how to make rest happen.  Psalm 90:2 says, “For only those who number their days aright gain wise hearts.”   The Jewish Sabbath experience requires preparation.  If we are going to exhale, to learn stillness, to rest, we’ll have to prepare for it.

Buchanan writes, “The rest of God—the rest God gladly gives so that we might discover that part of God we’re missing—is not a reward for finishing.  It is a stop-work order in the midst of work that’s never complete, never finished.”

Can you breathe a sigh of relief at that?  We don’t rest because we’re done … we rest because God says we can, we should, we must.  We rest because it’s holy.


Teri Lynne

We don't rest because we're done ... we rest because it's holy. http://wp.me/p3aJPA-22S Click To Tweet

How do you make rest a priority in your busy life?

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  1. What a wonderful reminder, in a life where my to-do list is always longer than the hours in the day, the reminder that we’re commanded to rest is much needed. Thanks!

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