Rhythms of Rest
“Sabbath tunes you into God’s voice instead of the voices—HENRI NOUWEN
of the cultural narrative that (a) I am what I do, (b) I am
what I have, or (c) I am what others say about me.”
God made humans to uniquely reflect His image in having the capacity to create and cultivate. And from the beginning, as he gave us this creation mandate, he installed and modeled a necessity of rest. If we are to continually give Him glory in our image-bearing through creating and cultivating, we are to set aside time to be restored and re-centered. From this rest we experience recovery, and therefore, “re-created” ourselves.
What is implicit in the Sabbath command is our need for restoration. God ceased from creating, not because he needed rest or restoration, but because we do. God wanted to set the precedent. Creating taps us out. Creating and cultivating, as invigorating as it can be at times, can also be depleting, blistering, or boring. Our resources are limited because we are finite. Our creativity is easily spent. Creating wears us threadbare. Sabbath is not for more creating. It is for re-creating…Us.
“Stop creating” is the sum of it. This is clear enough. But this thought leaves us more than a little susceptible to our finicky rule-making. Is doing laundry creating? Is writing a blog post OK? What about elbowing your way through the Trader Joe’s weekend crowd? A simple principle can help us discern: Cease from what is necessary. Embrace what brings life.
Sabbath. It’s one day that straddles and has implications on two weeks.
- It’s a time to cease from what is necessary while looking back… A time of disengagement from productivity, reflection, and closure.
- And also it’s the time to make space to look ahead by embracing what brings life… A time where we engage, dream and wonder what is to come.
Why is this so important again?! Because leadership is stewardship—the cultivation of the resources God has entrusted to you for His glory. Sabbath gives us both theological and practical help in managing one of our primary resources —our time.
Rhythms of rest allow us to reflect on the old, while waiting in expectancy for the new, though familiar. With sabbath rest, we can approach an ordinary week with freshness. Rhythms in life allow us the freedom to create space; for it is in those rhythms we can intentionally enjoy the gifts in which we delight. Equally as important, we can meet the needs of our soul and body, that if not met, we will not flourish. Rhythms of rest are God’s idea.