We have a complicated relationship with rest. Everyone needs it. Most people want it. Few people, though, seem to find it. Enter Jesus. In his life and teaching, he offers rest as one of the greatest gifts he has to offer those who follow him. Part of taking on the character of Jesus means rethinking our relationship with rest and beginning to see it as a gift to be received, a skill to be practiced, and preparation for eternity.To learn more about rest, check out these resources:
- “Sabbath” Sermon Series from Bridgetown Community Church – Eight-part series on the practice of Sabbath in the life of Jesus.
- “The Restless Craving for Rest” Podcast Episode by Bible Project – An in-depth discussion of the theological foundations of rest and Sabbath in Scripture.
- “Sabbath” Theme Video from Bible Project – An accessible introduction to the theme of rest in Scripture.
- The Sabbath by Abraham Heschel – Thoughts and meditations on the Sabbath from a Jewish perspective.
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer – An introduction to understanding and dismantling the things that keep us from enjoying the rest that God offers.
- How to Unhurry by John Mark Comer – A practical companion to The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry that serves as a guide to the practices of rest. NOTE: There’s a lot of benefit in this book even if you haven’t read The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry!
- Start where you are, not where you think you should be. If rest is a skill to be practiced, you can’t expect to be an expert at it right away. In fact, we’re so used to being hurried that a sudden stop could be more disorienting than helpful. Ease your way into the practice of rest with a gentle grace for your soul.
- Remember that this is a practice. You will never be perfect at resting, so forget about perfection and think of rest as a practice. Practice implies mistakes, experimentation, learning, and growth. Sometimes you’ll do it well and sometimes you’ll do it poorly. The key is to keep showing up.
- Know that you will meet resistance. John Mark Comer puts it this way: “Of all the practices of Jesus, Sabbath [and by extension, rest] is by far one of the most counter-cultural. It touches on so many of the tender vulnerabilities of our soul; it’s also a form of spiritual warfare, a kind of assault on hell’s hold over our over-busy soul. It’s very hard for the enemy to tempt well-rested, healthy, happy people.”