But First, a Nap

We Should Have Napped on Saturday. Photo by Don Segien, Jr. 

The Incredible Sweetness of Being, Part Ten

Do you think of rest as a reward? What if, instead, you valued it as preparation? How would your schedule change? How might you change?

I propose that we rest first. Begin well. 

What could that look like? 

I started this year with a week’s vacation. Then I returned to my office rested, refreshed, and ready to dig in to this year’s challenges and rewards.

Our church recently offered our pastor a full-time position. He’d been fully committed to ministering to us for a long while, of course. (I mean, what pastor says, “Gosh, I’m sorry you’re in turmoil, Mr. B., but I’ve already served my twenty hours this week. Catch me Sunday, will you?”) Now he could quit the “day job” he’d held alongside his ministerial position. What a relief!

He marked his first week as our full-time pastor by vacationing with his wife in Alaska. 

A few weekends ago, my husband, Rich, and I goofed off all day on Saturday. Normally, Saturday is chore day: I buy groceries. I wash clothes. On this Saturday we visited the woodworking store together. We went to the nursery. By then it was lunchtime, so we stopped for a sandwich. When we returned home I napped while Rich played with his new woodworking toys in the shop. We went out for dinner, then watched a movie.

The price of neglecting my chores on Saturday? Zero.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

On Sunday, we attended church, then stopped at the grocery store for our weekly provisioning. Once home, I attended to the laundry.

It all got done. Without panic. Without drama. Without an all-nighter.

The key difference? I’d enjoyed a luscious Saturday with my husband.

God, of course, rested on the seventh day, after spending the first six days creating the universe. But He’s God.

I’m not. Neither are you. 

So let’s give ourselves a break, shall we?

Why? Fatigue is a thief, that’s why. Exhaustion robs me of patience, of good humor, of clear-minded thinking. When I’m tired, life flattens out like week-old ginger ale, its effervescence vaporized.

Will you try it? Next time you catch yourself thinking, “I’ve got to get stuff done so I can rest,” turn it around.

Instead tell yourself this: “I’ve got to rest so I can get stuff done.” 

We can’t earn rest any more than we can earn salvation. So let’s show ourselves some grace, shall we? 

16 The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
    his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
    its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
    in secure homes,
    in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
    and the city is leveled completely,
20 how blessed you will be,
    sowing your seed by every stream,
    and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
Isaiah 32:16-20 (NIV)

My word for 2012 is “be.” You can find other posts in this series here

I’m joining Ann Voskamp for Walk with Him Wednesdays at A Holy Experience. Won’t you stop by?

I’m also sharing with Jennifer Lee for God-Bumps and God-Inicdences at Getting Down with Jesus. Please scoot on over to see what’s up.