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2006 August 30
by Mike

Now that classes have started back at ACU, these words from Mark Buchanan strike home:

“In a culture where busyness is a fetish and stillness is laziness, rest is sloth. But without rest, we miss the rest of God: the rest he invites us to enter more fully so that we might know him more deeply. ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Some knowing is never pursued, only received. And for that, you need to be still.

“Sabbath is both a day and an attitude to nurture such stillness. It is both time on a calendar and a disposition of the heart. It is a day we enter, but just as much a way we see. Sabbath imparts the rest of God — actual physical, mental, spiritual rest, but also the rest of God — the things of God’s nature and presence we miss in our busyness.”

(Taken from The Rest of God : Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath.)

19 Responses leave one →
  1. don permalink
    August 30, 2006

    I was going to click on the link you provided, but I don’t have the time……

  2. Terry permalink
    August 30, 2006

    We had a horrible storm last night. As I sat on the porch reflecting on the fresh smell, baby birds tweetering (how did that happen at the end of August), a brief prayer. Then the mind went to the weeds that would pull out easy now and the next minute I was busy. Sometimes the rest doesn’t last long enough.

  3. August 30, 2006

    Thanks for those thoughts. While there is such a thing as laziness, we often apply to lazy label too generously, mistaking rest as something bad. God knows we have to stop for refueling – spiritually and physically – every now and then.

  4. August 30, 2006

    Tomorrow I head for my favorite resting place for about 10 days. I am looking forward to no TV, and no telephone. Just a small stack of books, a hammock and a guideboat.

    Simple meals, going to sleep when it gets dark, waking to the sunrise instead of to the alarm. Listening to the evening stillness puncutated by the wail of the loon.

    Things that restore my soul.

  5. August 30, 2006

    Max Lucado said:

    We need one day in which work comes to a screeching halt.
    We need one twenty-four hour period in which the wheels stop grinding and the motor stops turning. We need to stop…

    Slow down. If God commanded it, you need it. If Jesus modeled it, you need it..

    Take a day to say no to work and yes to worship.

    I believe Max is right.

  6. August 30, 2006

    We church folk are good about preaching about adding stuff as a part of transformation. Commitment to Christ somehow gets confused with attendance at church programs and tithing. I’m fine with both of those things – I just don’t think that they are the only (or best) mile markers of one’s transformation journey. We church folk aren’t real good at preaching about subtracting stuff (unless it is cigarettes and beer) like the disciplines of fasting and solitude/sabbath call us to do. Learning how to let go (nets) is just as important as learning how to pick up (cross – which is really about letting go too).

    Great post BroCo!

  7. Susan permalink
    August 30, 2006

    I’ve never been accused of being lazy. I have however been accused of being energetic and quick to get things done. I only look that way to outsiders. My family knows the truth- I really only move fast so that that I can lie on the couch longer and more often. Rest is good.

  8. August 30, 2006

    I haven’t confirmed this, but a friend recently related something interesting about the concept of rest and the Jewish culture. I was told that within the Jewish culture a new day begins at sunset–this is generally known. What was new to me, though, was this: the purpose of this , my friend said, was to set priorities. When day begins in the evening, the first activity of every day is time with family at the dinner table, followed by rest, which the Jewish people would have considered an important part of their day.

    For me, rest is something that happens in the inbetween times, not an important part of my day. It’s almost a non-entity to me. I think there is value in considering rest, where it’s sleep, a day off or a vacation, an important part of our lives.

  9. August 30, 2006

    From a mom’s perspective – I was just thinking about this the other day. That qoute is so true about our culture’s obsession with business and productivity.

    My kids are all in school for the first time this fall. And in my daily conversations with acquaintances they all want to know what I’m doing now to fill up my time.

    I find this question laughable, like I would look for something just to fill up time! Actually for the first time in eleven years I’m seeing some kind of light at the end of the tunnel of ever trying to catch up with myself!

    So even for someone like me who actually has six hours unaccountable for (some days) it is difficult not to feel guilty when I sit down to reflect, worship, blog or read. But it sure is refreshing when I capture that time for Sabbath.

  10. August 30, 2006

    Isn’t it wierd that this would be even harder for someone in ministry?

    Anyway – does this day of rest include golf?

  11. August 30, 2006

    Thanks for these words, Mike. I started law school 10 days ago and I haven’t taken the time to “rest” yet. I need to force myself to be still or my spiritual life will take a big hit over the next three years.

    Blessings to you on the start of a new semester!

  12. Snapshot permalink
    August 30, 2006

    I believe it has to do with what “rest” actually is. I’m thinking out loud about this right now, but is it possible what is restful for one is not restful for another. Or is it that God simply wants us to “be still and know.” My husband’s bible class has been studying this and they all have a wide variety of answers.

  13. August 30, 2006

    I think Eric Carle does a great job convincing us to slow down with his book ‘”Slowly, Slowly, Slowly” said the Sloth’. Lessons from the sloth (who is NOT lazy!) I just wish I could find my inner sloth – instead I ran up the stairs to get this book for this comment!!!

  14. August 30, 2006

    I grabbed my laptop to spend a minute catching up on blogs before taking an afternoon nap. I’m thinking this post may be a sign from God confirming my desire to relax for a bit!


  15. August 30, 2006

    I have succeeded in slowing down a lot this fall. I can feel the difference. We need rest. We need time to meditate. We need to feel the peace of God in our hearts. There is plenty of time to do battle. We gather strength in our quiet times.

  16. Traci permalink
    August 30, 2006

    Last year I was reading 1 Thes and noticed this gem “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands…” 4:11a I made it my New Year’s Resolution to be ambitious about quietness. I haven’t always been successful, but it has been a very nice year.

  17. Alex permalink
    August 30, 2006

    Mind if I submit this post to some of my professors? We’re not allowed to have pets in UP, so I figure this will work better than “the dog ate my homework.”

    In all seriousness though, it’s mind-boggling how busy people can get and still not accomplish anything of lasting value.

  18. August 31, 2006

    Chrissy and I read a book that profoundly changed the way we view Sabbath, and we have been “keeping it” every Sunday since:

    Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythm of Rest

    We recommend it.

  19. August 31, 2006

    I’m in medical school, and it is ironic how busy and stressed my life will be for a while. I am sure it will have negative impact on my general health. I am doing my best to learn how to provide healthcare for others whilst losing some of my own health in the process. I am not complaining. I love what I’m doing. But, it doesn’t seem right. I can’t practice what I hope to preach. Our culture has been hijacked by the desire to continually do more, be more, have more, and say more.

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