“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5 CSB
Today I’m thankful for my new friend Carolyn who taught me about rest at our women’s retreat. In her talk, she explained how rest is to be restorative for us. But each of us are not restored in the same way. I loved this point she made. Often times, I think we all think there is a formula for rest, but there isn’t. I find rest when I spend time with my husband. The day after the retreat, I found rest with him while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I had never seen the movies before, he had been wanting a rainy Sunday to watch them again. We did just that. After church, I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup and we settled in for an afternoon of Tolkien. We sat side by side. We ate soup, we held hands. We had a very restful day which restored both of us. Others may find rest by working on a puzzle, or taking a nap. Rest restores us, and we need it.
As Carolyn said, rest is “the first thing we cut, but should be the first thing we prioritize.” She taught us how God incorporated rest into our lives by creating the Sabbath, a day where you cease to work. We are commanded to have a day of rest in the 10 Commandments. Rest is a way we show faith. When we are resting, we’re showing God we trust Him to run the world, we don’t have too. Rest restores our soul (Psalm 23:2-3 ESV). Rest comes in many different forms for all of us, whatever restores us is rest. Yet we don’t rest because we don’t think it is important. We have every intention of taking the day off, but then the kids have a ball game, your neighbor needs help or an unexpected project at work pops up. When we don’t make time to rest, we’re playing into the devil’s hands. He wants us worn out and tired, he doesn’t have to work as hard at distracting us when we’re out of energy. When we’re depleted we don’t make good decisions, our brains get tired too.
Carolyn reminded me of the importance of rest. Why do we need it, why we don’t get it, and what we need to do to get it. One of my favorite quotes comes from her husband, “The good is the enemy of the best.” He is so right. We think we’re doing good when we don’t prioritize rest in our lives because we’re doing something good. We’re watching the ball game, helping the neighbor, doing the project. But in reality, the lack of rest is keeping us from doing our best. We aren’t at our best if our heart isn’t in what we’re doing. If we’re resentful to be at the ball game, irritated to help our neighbor, or stressed while doing the project, that’s not our best. Good is the enemy of best.
Today I’m thankful for Carolyn. She taught me about rest. What are you thankful for?