28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-29 NIV
The fields of physiology, exercise science and kinesiology have determined that much of human physical growth occurs when we are sleeping. As someone who may be interested in becoming stronger, through the addition of muscle tissue, it is therefore crucial to rest. When we are active, we are depleting our energy stores and causing muscular micro-tears. When we rest, the body utilizes our nutritional intake to repair these tears and strengthen our musculature. Daily physical rest is therefore an important part of maintaining good health and functionality.
The same applies to life. As we work on pursuing important goals, it is actually important for us to cease associated activity and rest. That seems counter-intuitive. Society seems to say that pursuit of a goal is perpetual. Rest is attributed no value. This makes us feel like stopping puts us at risk of slipping back, losing advantage and acceding gains to others. The fear of missing out (FOMO) overruns our thinking. To alleviate any associated distress, we feel a need to stay plugged in. Many people report that even when on vacation, they struggle to not check emails or have their mobile phones switched off. Many organizations subtly communicate unimpeded accessibility as desirable.
In the passage above, we find a potential antidote to the venom of busyness. Resting in the assurance that we don’t lose anything if we acknowledge Christ as our source is the beginning of the freedom that is required. If the source of our success is independent to the visible system around us, then we can access the courage required to disconnect. “Rest” looks different for everyone. For some it involves solitude. For others, it involves community and fellowship. It can be active or non-active. The things that we do to recharge ourselves is as varied as there are personalities. The common thread, however, is that it involves a timed and complete disconnection from the cycles of work and pursuit. Rest is, in effect, a personal confirmation of Christ’s lordship over all of my affairs.
Disconnecting can be a source of anxiety and fear for many. If this is you, confide in others who love and support you. Find the help that you need to address the emotional challenges that arise. Your life is depending on your mastery of the concept of rest.