We're entering the home stretch of the online study of It's No Secret. And I feel like I've been a little rough on you these past few weeks ... getting into your business about giving and forgiving, pointing out how you drive people crazy with your perfectionistic expectations, and encouraging you to sell out to God.
I'll admit, I've been challenging you in this book. If it helps, I'm preaching to myself in these pages too. At least this week gets a little easier. This week you get to REST. I know what many of you are thinking, "Oh but rest is hard for me. That's not my natural bent - I'm a doer. I've got a full schedule. And time is money."
Yes, I know. We're all a little brain-washed by the cult of speed and efficiency. But we can only serve one master. OK, so I'm starting to get rough on you again - I realize that. But as Carl Honroroe writes in In Praise of Slowness, "Some things cannot and should not be sped up. They take time; they need slowness. When you accelerate things that should not be accelerated, when you forget how to slow down, there is a price to pay."
In chapter 9 of It's No Secret I talked about taking "Sabbath style" rests. You will notice I didn't lay out any prescriptions for this. I didn't say what day this has to be, or that it has to be a full day. I didn't say you cannot cook, or do laundry, or watch football. I didn't say you can't go sailing or bowling. I didn't say you have to spend the day reading your Bible. I didn't say you can't invite company over for dinner.
It's a mindset thing more than a list of actions thing.
In my mind's eye, Sabbath is a hammock. It beckons me to take a load off and rest awhile. To give up worry, and linger in the breeze ... careless ... trusting God and enjoying life. To lay aside my drive, kick back and read something enjoyable. To sip something refreshing. To study the dandelions and watch the clouds while I dream. To take naps. To eat something particularly yummy or especially healthy. To snuggle up and enjoy my family. To remember grace. To reorient to what is truly essential. And, most importantly, to thank God for it all.
Mindfulness of God, thankfulness, prayerfulness, and restful renewal - that's how I define a Sabbath rest.
What are your thoughts on the subject?