By Becky Williams
In Genesis 2:2-3, God enjoyed a day of rest. In fact, He even “BLESSED the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Yes, the God who created time itself actually set aside specific time to enjoy rest. As Jennifer points out in Chapter Nine, we all need to “Divert daily. Withdraw weekly. Abandon annually.” That sage advice is from Rick Warren who has simply grasped the importance of rest that God has been trying to teach mankind since the very beginning.
Invest a few moments into reading these following ideas for finding ways to rest. You’ll be glad you did.
Divert Daily: Each day that God allows you to wake up, take fifteen minutes, an hour, or whatever you can get to rest, but please take something! Enjoy a soothing cup of your favorite drink. There’s great comfort in wrapping your hands around a warm mug and taking a deep breath.
Are temperatures too high outside for a hot drink? Sit in the sun for a moment, soak up some healthy vitamin D, and close your eyes, thinking of nothing else but you and Jesus. What about finding rest in the winter? Pull a blanket out of the dryer and snuggle up on the couch with your favorite book or magazine.
Withdraw Weekly. Once a week, take several hours to retreat for some quality time alone. Try taking a good book to a quiet café or go picnicking in peace under your favorite tree. For those who are constantly ‘on the go,’ don’t forget about your feet! You can either lace up your walking shoes for a healthy jaunt or treat your toes to a new coat of polish. Investing in a new pair of comfortable socks is also a way to treat your feet even while you’re running around.
Abandon Annually. Need some alone time without the kids (or co-workers)? Stash away a little money each month and then pick a day or weekend each year to spend at the spa or on a mini-vacation. Do something different… Do you dress up for work? Dress in comfy clothes for a day instead! Are you aching for the chance to dress up? Wear that smart outfit that you’ve been waiting months to wear. If you book a hotel room all to yourself in a nearby city, go out to eat at that restaurant you’ve never had time to visit. Or simply relax in the hotel room and order in room service, while watching a favorite movie.
Or you could take advantage of God’s good earth that is just a short drive away, like the beach, the mountains, the rolling hills, or whatever is close by. Even a bale of hay can be relaxing when you’re sitting on top of one at night, watching the stars in the clear country sky.
When Christ walked the earth, He invited us to “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) Here’s one last tip: While you rest, take a moment to look at the stress in your life and search out any resentment or sin you may be harboring because of that stress. Then confess it to God and live free in Him. (John 8:36)
Seeking God includes finding rest. It’s one of His promised prizes for His children that you should accept!
P.S. If your moments of relaxation are hard-pressed, then you can sympathize with others who are also bearing a busy load. Try engaging in a daily distraction of helping someone else relax. Can you baby-sit for the afternoon for free? Can you cook dinner for a family so that a hectic home maker can retreat to her own meal somewhere else in assurance that her family is taken care of? If you have any great ideas about how to rest each day, each week, or each year, please leave them in the comment box below!