Thinking Differently About Rest

For the first time in my six years in Nashville I had to go to the doctor for an antibiotic, had fever, and found myself at home resting. It reminded me of David’s words in Psalm 23, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; he restores my soul.” While resting, I’ve been reading about, well, rest….

“By the seventh day God had finished his work he had been doing, so on the seventh day he RESTED from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he RESTED….” (Gen. 2:2-3)

What if REST is a rhthym God built into the music of Creation. What if the music of life only works if REST is honored just as much as the notes we bang out the rest of the week? What if REST is far more than the absence of work but the door to the wardrobe that ushers us into a whole new way of seeing the rest of our days?

What if REST is not the absence of work, or the adversary of workaholics, but work’s partner? What if REST and “work” actually compliment and complete each other? What if REST is a skill to be learned, and we can grow in our ability to REST just as an athlete or a woman in labor grows in thier ability to breath?Sure, breathing comes naturally (as does REST) but we can get far better at it with focus and practice.

Ministers, like busy CEOs, often think of stress and overwork as a badge of honor. Getting little sleep, giving up unused vacation, not taking days off are seen as a way to get ahead and an edge, but really? REST is not paying a tax on innovation or productivity–it is investing in it!

Alex Pang says it this way, “REST is not something that the world gives us. It’s never been a gift. It’s never been anything you do when you’ve finished everything else. If you want REST you have to take it. You have to resist the lure of busyness, make time for REST, take it seriously and protect it from a world intent on stealing it.”

So the people who have travelled the road of productivity, creativity, illumination and breakthrough by embracing REST and becoming skilled at it tell me there are four things I need to learn as I pursue this quest to becoem skilled in REST:

1. Word and REST are partners in my life–they complete each other.
2. REST is active-I can do triathalons and call it REST if that completes and compliments my work, but it has to be intentional and planned REST.
3. I must see REST as a skill to be learned–and to grow into improvement.
4. Deliberate REST sustains creativity and productivity–I’ll do more if I learn to do less, and trul REST.

So, this is my quest…more details and cool quotes to follow soon.

QUESTION: Are you skilled in REST? If so, leave your secrets for us here!

Author: Scott Sager

Sager joined the Lipscomb team as Vice President for Church Services in July of 2011, after 15 years as senior minister of the Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas. In this role, Sager not only teaches in the Bible department, he also connects churches across the region with a variety of the university’s resources as well as equips and trains church and business leaders through programs, seminars and special events. Since 2015, he has worked as the Preaching Minister for Granny White Church of Christ. Sager serves on the board of the Christian Relief Fund where his focus is on supporting AIDS orphans in Africa. In Dallas, he serves on the board of Christ’s Family Ministries, a fully functioning health clinic he founded that serves the working poor and is located inside the Preston Road Church of Christ building. He also serves on the advisory board of New Friends/New Life, a ministry helping women leave sexually oriented businesses for new life in Jesus Christ. He received his D.Min. in evangelism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is an Abilene Christian University alumnus where he earned an undergraduate degree in business management and also received master’s degrees in Bible and divinity. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Suzanne. They have two children, Will and Anna, and enjoy visiting their family in Texas whenever possible!

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