Long before it was an American hit sitcom, or a rap music group, the term "arrested development" was used to describe a condition in which the individual ceases normal psychological development (or is stuck in a particular psychological development stage) due to trauma, lacking some aspect of nurturance, or a chemical addiction. Though no longer used in that manner among psychological professionals, the concept crossed my mind as I thought about the topic of this post. I thought of it as a play on words, but nevertheless, to drive home a point.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the importance of the rhythms of life. The final point of that post was the importance of the "Rhythm of Rest and Self-Care." As we consider the drive of living our purpose in life, one of the first considerations is not usually taking a rest. Understandably, our drive and desire to live purposefully may also be a drive to think only of activity and neglect the balance that our lives need. How may our development of a purposeful life be arrested if we neglect our rest?
Jesus gave us the example of a balanced life. He was fully committed to His purpose...the most important mission in all the world. He led a very busy life of ministry leading up to His ultimate sacrifice as Messiah. Yet, he always made sure to find time for rest and for solitude. When God set the example for us in His acts of creation, he established the Sabbath rest. The regular rhythm of rest is what we need...God knows that.
And I gave them my Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and me. It was to remind them that I am the LORD, who had set them apart to be holy.
And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
The Apostle Peter reminds us that a relationship with Jesus actually promotes rest...for the soul.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Jesus put it this way...
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
So...what does rest look like for you...daily rest, weekly rest, times of retreat and solitude? These are all important in the rhythm of life. Rest can include many things...each person is unique in how they find rest and refreshment. Think about what it is that is life-giving for you. What is it that, when you have engaged it, you emerge energized, fulfilled and prepared for the challenges of life? Consider some suggestions:
Universal Elements of Rest
For the follower of Christ, there are some elements of rest that can be incorporated into any rest experience we find rejuvenating. Consider how these fit your unique choices.
So, there you have it...my thoughts on the importance of incorporating rest into your life. God, the Father, instructed it; Jesus, His Son, modeled it; and, through His Spirit, enables it. Now, it is our responsibility to plan it. If you do, you will find "a rested development" of a well-balanced life.
How do you find rest in the midst of the busyness of life? What are your favorite modes of rest? Have you experienced the negative effects of a lack of adequate rest? If so, how did you deal with it? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Like and share the post on social media. We really do want to have a conversation about living our purpose well...sharing your story may be just the thing someone else needs to hear.
With over forty years of ministry experience, Randy Kinnick continues to live a life of pursuing the purpose for which he was created. Whether teaching God's Word to adults, coaching youth and young adults in finding their purpose, or caring for the hurting and abused in Southeast Asia, the adventure has taken him around the world in ways he could have never dreamed. The adventure continues!