Ah yes, the elusive, even mythical, creature called balance. In a world where busyness is boss, balance has become a popular buzz word. It’s something we all strive for but rarely achieve, and here’s why: God did not create us to live a life that is balanced. Rather, He created us to live in rhythms.
Rhythms not Balance
From the dawn of creation, God set into motion rhythms for the existence of both us and creation. The rhythm of rest is one of the most important yet also most neglected. Humans don’t like to rest, but even the earth has a season where things stop growing and animals hibernate.
Establishing a rhythm of rest was so important to God that He modeled it Himself by resting on the seventh day of creation. The seventh day of the week, Shabbat (Sabbath in English), was so important that God made celebrating it a law that, if broken, was punishable by excommunication or death. Yikes!
How to “do” Rest
The best way I’ve heard the rhythm of rest explained is to picture a pendulum. On the left side of the pendulum is rest, and on the opposite side is work.
An important thing to note is when God created us. Human beings were created on the sixth day. God worked a full six days then rested. But we were created to rest with God on our very first day of existence.
For us, work is meant to be fueled out of a place of rest. It’s like the back swing before driving a golf ball. It’s what gives us momentum and energy to be the most fruitful we can possibly be for the Kingdom of God.
The Benefit of Resting First
I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way (typical), but when I do enact this rhythm, the results feel almost supernatural.
Obviously science points to the benefits of rest and it’s positive impact on productivity, but seriously… I’m not just incrementally more productive when I’m intentional about resting first. I’m exponentially more productive!
God blesses those who rest with Him in this rhythm. It doesn’t always make sense, but it works, because God made us this way.
I’m challenging you to establish a rhythm of rest into your week. Your Sabbath might not be on a Saturday or Sunday, but be intentional about setting apart one day as your day of rest. Mark that day as the first day of your week, and use the momentum of resting with God to propel you into the work He calls you to do.
What established rhythms of rest do you already have built into your week? What fruitfulness might you see in your life if you are more intentional about resting first?