Have you ever heard your alarm and thought, “That can’t be right. I just went to sleep!” I felt that way this morning. I have had a number of late night/early morning days recently and my sleep time seemed very short today. I took the boys to school and went right back to bed. I slept for over two hours and woke feeling rested and much better prepared for the day.
Rest is one of those disciplines that doesn’t seem to be brought up in Christian circles. Of all of the disciplines believers are called to live out in their lives, this one gets dismissed often. We are taught to serve, give, donate, pray for, make meals for, read our Bibles for hours on end–if we are really devout. But rarely do you hear someone say, “So how is your rest coming along?”
One of my favorite pastors, John Ortberg, spoke on discipline a number of years ago. He was sharing how when people go away on a spiritual retreat many of them will fall asleep when they intended to do a book study or spend time in prayer. His perspective was, if you fall asleep maybe that was what you needed most. It seems that when we get away from our day-to-day events we realize how tired we are.
It is important to note that Jesus led us by example. How many times do we read in the Gospels where Jesus “went away by himself.” Yes, He went to pray, but He also went away to find rest. If the God of the Universe needed a “time out” from the world to refocus so He could be ready for His next service in ministry, don’t you think we should too?
“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4