3 Types of Rest
Today’s Teaching Video from Coach Kelsey:
Take 10 minutes and review your cadences for these first 2 types of rest. Are they in a healthy spot? If not, start thinking about how you can get these to a healthy spot.
Answer the following questions after reading through today’s teaching:
- Is there a time of day or night that you see a natural opening for designated rest moments?
- What time of day do you feel would be the best for you to create rest moments if there are no natural opportunities?
- What changes in your routine or the routine of your household could create an opportunity for rest moments?
- Is there unnecessary clutter in your life—activities, relationships, responsibilities that don’t fit with how you want to live well and thrive? Sometimes we fail to recognize a need for change because unconsciously we are afraid of the void that will be left if we disengage from or discontinue activities, relationships, or responsibilities. If something does not contribute to your living well or to thriving, then a reassessment should be considered.
- Are you a slave to the schedule of your life? Are there any commitments that need to be re-negotiated as it concerns the time commitment? Are there commitments that need to be ended? The quality of your commitment is more important than the quantitative factor associated with that commitment. In other words, what are you bringing to the commitment? Is it a a joyful desire to serve or are you fulfilling an obligation with a sub-par attitude?
God is not slow — though to us as hurried, modern disciples, he might seem that way. He is patient (2 Peter 3:9). Apprentices must patiently learn their craft from the master. Lovers linger over what they love. We cannot know what we do not comprehend. Lingering, by definition, takes time. Comprehension requires time-consuming concentration and meditation. God is calling us to grow the spiritual fruit of patience and love (Galatians 5:22). And growth takes a long time.
God is not in a hurry, so we don’t have to be either!
3 Types of Rest:
Speeding up while the tank runs dry:
“Noise and words and frenzied, hectic schedules dull our senses, closing our ears to His still, small voice and making us numb to His touch.” -Charles Swindoll
This is SOLITUDE for you and God!
Physical benefits to solitude:
- Even a short period has been shown to affect the nervous system, change blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.
- Brain scans have shown that people who meditate are physically able to expand parts of their brains, growing bigger, fatter frontal lobes (controls concentration, attention, focus and where we do much of our analysis of problems).
- Able to build up more grey matter in the midbrain (handles functions such as breathing and blood circulation) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (muscle coordination and active memory).
“In the midst of temptations and the trials of life, Christians can experience the “rest for their souls” (Matt. 11:29)
The rhythms of Jesus’s life per “Running on Empty”:
I suspect Jesus’s life was regulated by a deep inner silence. His soul was listening to his father… always. In the deepest recesses of his being, He was silent, never asserting his own agenda. Jesus lives with remarkable detachment. He didn’t seek creature comforts or temporal pleasures of the world, although the things of this world were easily within reach. His ability to live with a remarkable detachment allowed him to overcome the pull of routine, monotony, and weariness, and gave birth to a light-hearted serenity, a space open for every encounter. This was the food and drink “you do not know about,” which He mentioned to a group of disciples who were baffled that he wasn’t hungry. Jesus was always receptive to the will of his father.
In the first chapter of Mark’s account of the life of Jesus, I’m fascinated by the rhythm reflected in a typical day. Jesus began his day in the synagogue, it being the Sabbath, and afterward was confronted by the needs of those around him. Mark sets the scene: “they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons” ( Mark 1:32-34). Mark continues by describing how they too began, “ in the morning, while it was still very dark, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed” ( verse 35).
There it is! In the middle of sentences filled with activity – healing desperately sick people, casting out evil spirits – Jesus seeks solitude. How else could a person handle everything a bucket brigade of disciples can throw at him and still travel from town to town on foot, proclaiming his message unless “while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”
The rhythm of Jesus’s life is the most remarkable thing to those who are fully committed to accomplishing the most important things. This group includes those whom we call saints as well as entrepreneurs and business executives and moms and dads and you and me. Check it out for yourself. Although Jesus was crowded by noise, busyness, and multitude of ‘got to have it now’ people, none of that threatened him. Neither did the noise, the demands, nor the crowds distract him from his constant communion with his father. In the eye of the daily storm, new the inner quiet of peace and focus. In the center stage of engagement, he would withdraw. In the midst of being with others non-stop, he knew quiet and solitude. There’s a reliable saneness to the cadence of Jesus’s life. Seeking solitude and silence was his standard practice, and so it must be for me and for you.
Just as Jesus escaped to solitude, and just as Paul went to the desert to be trained by God, “ Arabia” is that sacred place where our heart is formed. The “little cell” my heart is where I confront my spirit until it is brought into harmony with God. It’s the place where I temper my devotion, make promises to God, and here with my souls ear the promises God makes to me. Arabia is where my deepest so beliefs are forged and sustained. We need regular trips to Arabia!
Simple Steps to Solitude:
- Practice gratitude, Thanksgiving, and momentary prayer.
- Use your lunch break or coffee break to intentionally be alone with God.
- Find special places for solitude.
- Focus your prayer.
- Stop, sit, wait.
- Seize the opportunities that are available.
- Schedule some space into your day.
- Drop all expectations.
- Slow down.
- Exercise the body and the soul.
Centering for Prayer and Quiet Time – 1-3 minutes, slowly breathe in and out, clearing the mind of daily distractions so we can hear from God clearly. Have a favorite mini verse of Jesus phrase to recite during this. For example: Breathe in = Holy Holy Holy, Breathe out = He is the Lord Almighty.
Centering for “Thinkatate” time – Continue the “centering” for longer. Have a pen and paper near you for note taking through the process. Clear the mind so you can fill it with it with the things you need to be thinking about. Things you meant to write down to do. Ideas you have for a project. How you want to structure chores for your kids.
Slow down!!!!! Think of this as the family beach vacation. You’re still moving and operating but not like in the typical day to day stressful environment.
Human beings need a rhythm of work and rest in order to live up to their God-given potential. Just as God gives people important work to do, God also asks people to rest periodically from their labor. Work gives each individual the opportunity to partner with God in his goals for creation, while rest lets that person enter into communion with God in enjoyment of creation. Ideally, all people would work and rest in comfortable alternation, leaving humanity physically healthy, mentally stimulated, and spiritually fulfilled.
When people lack rest they suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Physical and mental exhaustion can often lead to emotional volatility, as a poorly rested individual become easily irritated and/or anxious. This lack of rest can escalate into larger issues. Relationships become strained. Over time a person’s spiritual life—a connection to God and the deepest meaning and joy in life—becomes diminished too.
Research bears out the cascading consequences of a rest deficiency. First, lack of rest can compromise health and the quality of work. Heavy workloads and long hours are a significant source of stress in the work place. According to an American Psychological Association survey, more than a third (36%) of workers experience chronic work stress, which can lead to anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, increased blood pressure, as well as a weakened immune system. This kind of stress can also increase chances of heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Furthermore, exhaustion depletes a person’s skill at managing interpersonal relationships. Studies show that when someone is tired he or she misreads other people’s social signals. A tired person will project negative motives onto other people, and find it hard to resist lashing out in response. Finally, there are spiritual implications to lack of rest. God created both work and rest, and carelessness in these areas can estrange people from him.
“On the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
God rested…why do we think WE don’t need to?
This is the 3rd type, however, we will dig into this one next time.
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