Why Choosing to Rest is Brave
I don’t know about you, but in theory, resting is a great idea in my mind. I love a good nap or a good Saturday afternoon of mindless TV watching (that includes my beloved Chicago Cubs - even when they’re losing). That’s a topic for another blog, let’s get back to the topic.
The reason it’s a great theory is that I’m pretty bad at it. Not because I don’t like to rest. But because of all the other things. There’s things to do. And ideas to process. And groceries to buy (this is probably under the things to do). And friends to see. And well, after I take that nap some days and spend a few hours watching TV, I don’t feel anymore rested.
Why Resting is Brave
I heard this podcast recently where the guest on the show chose to rest. Not just for a day, but from his career. His career included a lot of traveling, being away from home, and expending a lot of energy on people he didn’t know well. So he chose to rest. You read that right, he rested from his career.
The interesting thing about his story is that as he chose to rest and choose something more life-giving, something that energized him and kept him home more - God started blessing his past work. In fact, his work has more influence now than it did when he was actively working on it.
It reminds of a verse in Isaiah 1. God is asking through the prophet Isaiah about the sacrifices the Israelites are making. He questions them with, “Who asked this of you?” And while it’s a little out of context, I wonder how many of us are striving to get all the things done, meeting expectations, and hustling through life when God never asked this of us.
Choosing to Trust
Resting is brave because resting requires trust. Resting requires that we trust God to provide outside of our own efforts. Resting requires that we may miss out on some things. Resting invites us to accept who and where we are. Resting asks us to bravely say no when everyone else is expecting us to say yes.
My journey into rest
All that saying yes, and hustling, and striving leads only to one place. One part exhaustion and one part losing touch with our hearts. So I did something unheard of for me a couple of weeks ago. I rested. I rested from working on my business. I rested from meeting the expectations of others. I rested from trying to keep up on social media and blogging and - well - all the things. Instead, I spent time reading the Psalms, praying, getting a massage, and just being.
To be honest, It didn’t come naturally. I had to keep reminding myself that we weren’t processing ideas for my business, or checking off things on my to-do list. We were choosing to rest as God provided for me in the rest.
And here’s some things I learned. Rest is good. Rest forces me to slow down and be okay with where I am today, instead of striving for where I think I need to be tomorrow. Rest is the intersection of choosing to be who God made me to be + and letting go of my need to make things happen. Rest is brave because it forces me to relinquish control of what happens next.
Letting go of my plans
As I write this, that last part just came out as my fingers touched the keyboard. I had not intended to talk about letting go of control. In fact, sometimes I kid myself into thinking I don’t need control. But somehow God is calling me and you to give Him the control, isn’t He?
While I’ve been ruminating over rest, I came across this article which was going to be the basis of this blog post. While you may think rest is for napping and vegging out, this article proposed we need 7 kinds of rest.
Since this post is getting long and the writer did an excellent job, do yourself a favor and go read about the 7 types of rest.
The Enneagram and Rest
Since I’m doing more Enneagram coaching, you may be interested to know that each Enneagram type views rest differently. You may have guessed by now, that my type, the Type 3 Achiever, isn’t a natural rester. We’d rather keep going than to rest - which is why rest is part of a type 3’s pathway to growth.
But did you know that a type 5 - the Observer - starts their tank at 20% each day instead of the 100% that the rest of us have. You know what that means? They need to rest more frequently and sooner than the rest of us.
Or that the type 7 can set aside rest because they want to keep their options open and engaging in new and exciting experiences and people? The end result may be that they neglect rest.
No matter what your Enneagram type, who you are can flavor the lens through which you see rest. Which brings us back to the theme of this blog. It takes courage to look at the ways you are uniquely and unknowingly neglecting your need for rest.
The Bottom Line
If you’re anything like me, you may be saying let’s cut to the chase. Because this has been what God has been speaking to me about lately, I could go on for several more pages. So I’ll cut to the chase…
Trust God enough to rest
That podcast guest I talked about in the beginning? He chose to bravely trust that the rest God was pulling Him toward was for good and God’s glory. And you and I? We love and serve the same God. God’s more concerned with our being over our doing. He invites us to trust him more than we trust our own abilities to get things done or keep ourselves safe. So today, let’s do this together. Let’s choose to practice rest in some small way in the everyday rhythms of our lives.
Hey friend, I see you. I know for some of us it’s harder to rest and some of us have found a practice of rest as we pursue God. I’d love to know what helps you practice rest. Share your ideas below so we can practice rest together!