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Three Reasons to Rest

When we hear warning bells telling us we are tired -- warning bells such as getting brittle, grumpy, impatient, judgmental, weary -- we need to withdraw, and rest.

Jesus - who, remember is "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2) - was able to withdraw. He frequently went off alone for times of solitude. 

(Interestingly, it was in such a time of solitude and rest that he encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, one of his most powerful ministry moments. Had he been "at work" or with his disciples, and not alone, that conversation would never have taken place.)

And when Jesus' first followers went off to work, and came back full of excitement about all they had accomplished, what was the first thing Jesus told them? Did he say, "Well, get back out there!"? "Capitalize on your momentum"? "Come Labor On, Who Dares Stand Idle"?

No.

He said "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place. 

And get some rest."

Photo credit: Graham Ohmer
There are three reasons to rest: 

One: rest - getting away, stepping back and withdrawing from the thousand things that call for our attention - is our primary weapon against the enemy of tiredness.

Two: rest - getting away, stepping back and withdrawing - is the primary recovery tool for work addiction.

Ah...but here's the thing, here's the catch: Rest - getting away, stepping back and withdrawing - takes humility.  

It takes humility to not over-identify with our work - to realize there is a difference between "what we do," and "who we are."  

It takes humility to realize that the world (and even our work!) will go on without us. Often quite happily.

It takes humility to realize that It - whatever "it" is - Does Not All Depend On Me.

And the beautiful irony is, what happens when we do take regular times to withdraw and rest?

That's the third reason we should rest: upon our return - precisely because we have stepped away for a while and rested - not only our attitude will be improved, but so will our work. 

(This post is a bit of an experiment: a re-post of only the last and most important 1/3 of a post I wrote last week about work, tiredness, and rest. I wonder: would re-posting that third with a new title, in a much shorter piece give the point I'm trying to make new legs? Well, did it?)

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