Pastor’s Point of View
by Dr. Stephen A. Macchia
The Rhythms of Life: Rest
Rest: One of the most extinct jewels of the soul. One of the most valuable of all spiritual rhythms.
We live in a rest-less society, dominated by the demands of technology, possessions, relationships, and responsibilities. Bottom line — we are obsessed by our busyness and dulled to the significance of rest. For most ministers today, the concept of rest is one that is freely discussed but rarely practiced. When given the choice of how to use one’s time, the default is often activity over rest.
It is virtually impossible to live a meaningful spiritual life without rest. Do you believe that for yourself, pastor? Ministers are called to care for distracted souls, beginning with their own. If we don’t know how to find rest for ourselves, we will live and give out of a depleted soul. Practicing the rhythm of rest is of primary significance.
God himself has modeled this rhythm, as recorded in the opening pages of Holy Scripture. In the creation account, after completing his work with great satisfaction, he rested(Genesis 1: 31; 2:2,3).
Sabbath rest is designed for one full day in a week, as well as for ongoing whole life transformation. On a regular basis we are to learn how to release what was previously considered productive time (in our busy lives) in order to embrace that which gives us abundant life.
The rhythm of rest invites us to cease our daily work in order to notice God’s deeper work in us. We rest so we can fully experience the aspects of God we’ve been missing along the way. When we sit with the Word and incline our ear in prayer without a sense of hurry, we discover afresh what it means to receive the love of God with heart, soul, mind and strength. A nap, an afternoon stroll, a trip to the nearest shoreline … do any of these have a spot on your calendar? If not, how do you find rest and more importantly are you practicing it regularly?
The rest we experience when we travel at the speed of our senses (in contrast to the speed of light) recaptures our journey with Christ in a natural rhythm of grace. In a restful place we hear God’s voice with greater clarity, we see His goodness with clearer vision, we taste His loving kindness with deeper satisfaction, and we feel His warm embrace with wider gratitude.
Dr. Stephen A. Macchia
Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president ofLeadership Transformations, Inc., director of the Pierce Center at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a frequent blogger (on the Leadership Transformations website) and the author of several books including Becoming A Healthy Church (www.HealthyChurch.net).
For more aticles on The Rhythms of Life, click on the links below:
The Rhythms of Life: Part 1
The Rhythms of Life: Reading
The Rhythms of Life: Silence and Solitude
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