We know the enemy uses half truths to make us view the world through a lens that causes us pain and confusion. We know that half truths are easier to sell because they sound almost right. What we often don’t realize is that the enemy’s favorite kind of half truth is “the truth” out of context.
Things like truth should be immutable–unchanging. However, Christians know that the real truth is a person. So what is really true in a situation is by definition a situational truth. When you are in Christ and Christ is in you, then you have access to truth in your circumstance, but it’s seldom something you could write in stone and apply at all times.
Why am I going on about truth in a post titled, “Rest?”
Well, rest is one of those things that depends on your circumstances. There is a great line in the movie Conan the Barbarian, “success can try a man’s metal harder than failure.” If you had nothing but vacation it could be restful to get back to doing something.
A good definition for rest would be, “cease doing what you have recently done too much of.”
“Def: Rest is a change of pace from what’s been exhausting you. Sometimes you just need to break up the monotony.”Mike Galeotti
Most of us are chronically exhausted. The idea that we’ve been on vacation for months and would get recharged by working sounds counter intuitive, BUT the reality is that we’ve been trying to work harder and faster for months, and without results we crave a change.
It would be restful to work less and gain more, but that sounds pretty pie in the sky, right? It leaves us focused on results, which we can’t control, so we work harder and harder trying to reach a plateau that never seems to arrive.
We find ourselves stuck in a cycle of work and get tired, then rest and get even more tired.
So what we’re really craving is leverage.
Another interesting principle is that we often need to work our bodies to recharge our brains and work our brains to rest our bodies. It can be a balancing act, not one of monotony but of attaining an average balance by intentionally seeking to work this season what we rested last season.
I grew up in a religion that put an emphasis on taking the seventh day off to rest. Except that by doing it religiously they turned into something that wasn’t very restful. Saturday’s have been some of my favorite days, but I seldom experienced that until after I left that religion. The focus was always on what you couldn’t do. It’s like when someone says, “don’t picture an elephant.” Suddenly all you can think about is an elephant.
Religion always creates weariness because it’s by nature routine, and duty/obligation.
God is the God of abundance. He’s trying to fill your life with good things. However, “good” can depend on circumstances. We can’t assume that someone who works all week would find a day of doing nothing to be restful. Making it a religious tenant for everyone guarantees that most of the people are experiencing something not at all restful.
God worked for five days, then made man on the sixth day, then rested on the seventh. God wasn’t tired from working, and man just got created. Adam wasn’t tired. Resting with God has to be something more than taking a break from labor. Something like prioritizing relationship for a day.
I’ve given a lot of information in this post and I don’t have a nice piece of advice I can put a bow on for you. This is one you might need to meditate on with God. (Don’t be surprised if it ends up being the most restful thing you’ve done in months.)
Going back to the idea that what we’re craving is traction/leverage. What if prioritizing peace and connection with God is the key to rest. What if its possible to reverse the work/tired then rest/more tired? I’ve had times in the Kingdom when I worked from a place of rest and ended my day energized and excited to start again tomorrow.
What if the key is staying in a state of flow? What if we need to doing everything you do in a state of relationship is the secret to leaving the treadmill that’s had you exhausted?