Practicing a Rhythm of Rest

Practicing a Rhythm of Rest

You’ve been there, that moment of a critical ZOOM meeting, and your computer freezes. Maybe it is the pinwheel of doom, the beachball of death, or perhaps the screen freezes when your face is in the most awkward of poses. No matter the case, something usually needs to be shut down and then restarted.
I have always found it odd that my technology needs restarting. After all, it is a machine, made to do one thing and one thing only, work. Yes, it may need to charge now and again, but turned off and back on? Why is that always the first thing IT support asks you to do?The mandatory “restart required” helps technology and is suitable for the soul.In Hebrews 4, we get 13 verses about the rest we get to have because of who Jesus is and what he did with his life, death, and resurrection. Then, in verses 9-11, it says.

A Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. For the one who enters God’s rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his works. Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.

Rest is a firm reminder that the world’s real work has been finished in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet, in this world of deadlines and hurry, it calls us to slow down and enjoy life. So, how does one begin to practice a rhythm of rest?

1. Plan for it.

You plan for a vacation: getting ahead on projects, delegating responsibilities, and setting emails to forward. Treat a rhythm of rest as a weekly vacation. As a busy father with 6 kids ten and under, I know how hard this can be, but it is worth it and has become my family’s favorite day of the week. But it does not happen by accident.

2. Have fun.

Whether a hike, reading a book, going to a movie, conversation with a friend, family game night, or playing hide-n-seek with your kids (it is just as fun as an adult, although the hiding spots are harder to fit into). Recreation is a chance for us to participate in re-creation. Finding joy with the people around us and in God’s creation helps us reset priorities. When you are having fun, you are not trying to prove anything to yourself or others; you simply enjoy the moment for what it is.

3. Worship

For many, this is done on Sunday with a community of Christians. As a pastor, Sunday is a workday, so it looks different in my rhythms. I try to spend longer times in prayer and reading Scripture. We slow down at breakfast and have a family devotion. Then throughout the day, we pause and thank God for the joy and gift of the Sabbath only to end with movie night and family worship.

So take a day, a half-day, a few hours, and rest from the demands of life this week. Then make it a habit. Because, like all operating systems, we work better after a restart.

J. Grant Hickman is a Teaching Pastor and Rooted Champion at a multi-campus church in the greater Portland, Oregon area. He enjoys woodworking, surfing, and Texas, but mainly spending time with his wife Jenna and their six kids. Outside of exploring the Pacific Northwest with his family he is working on a Doctorate in Ministry from Denver Seminary and loves equipping others to love like Jesus.

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Stop Running from Rest
The Cost of Not Resting