This post is a part of The 15-Day Relationship Challenge. If you’re just now tuning in, click here for the whole series.
Rest. Let all things be.
In the creation story found in Genesis chapter two, it says this: “By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work.”
Rest is scarce in our culture today. We’re bombarded with advertisements competing for our attention (some estimate the average adult sees between 4 and 10 Thousand ads per day). We’re almost constantly available to social media, the internet, and to friends/family/colleagues. Work has replaced family and relationships as a primary focus for both men and women, and the average amount of time adults spend in front of their screens is staggering. It’s no wonder that depression and anxiety are on the rise, and our overall mental well being is so profoundly suffering.
We know how to vacation (vacate), but we do not rest well. My experience in the idea of rest as a Sabbath day has led me to give up on it for long stretches of time. Quite frankly, rest is often too much work. I like feeling productive. I like accomplishing things. I like being able to get my own food, drink, or whatever else I “need” at the moment. It’s not natural to practice rest except when my body forces me to do so via sleep or getting sick. And even when I’m sick, it’s still hard to rest and not try and accomplish something.
Rest is difficult because it challenges us to stop doing, and practice being. We’re human beings, not human doings (even though we spend more time doing than being). Rest is also a concept of play, which most of us adults don’t practice any more. If we do play, we require there to be a winner and loser, which turns play into work (competition).
It was important enough for God to spend an entire day with rest. Perhaps this is an invitation for us to do the same.
Chick-Fil-A might be the best example of a rhythm of rest in our culture. They are the number 2 fast food restaurant and they are always closed on Sundays. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. And this makes me wonder how successful we all might be if we shut our work down for an entire day each week.
What creativity would come about if we had time to pay attention, and listen? What relationships would prosper if we put down the screen, and played? What new growth would be discovered if we stopped working?
- What did I notice about me in reading today’s material?
- Did I have feelings, thoughts, questions, or stories that came to mind?
Spend some time reflecting on the questions from the last paragraph above, and then answer these questions:
- What does play look like for you?
- When have you felt like rest was a part of your regular routine in life?
- How can you integrate rest into your life today?
Hello! Welcome back. Great to see you again. How was your day? Was it restful?
Congrats on finishing your first 7 days of the challenge!
This morning we talked about rest and play, which are two difficult categories for us important adults. Rest does not have to be a huge production. It doesn’t need to be something we broadcast to all our social channels, but it does involve those closest to us.
Take 10-15 minutes tonight with your spouse to talk through your day.
- What were the highs and lows?
- Where were you surprised?
- Was there anything different about your day because of the assignment(s)?
- From this mornings reading, what stood out to you?
- If you’re willing, share your answers from the reflection questions.
We’re wrapping up the first week of this challenge, which has mostly been focused on you as individuals. Take some time to reflect over the past week and share some highlights of what you discovered about yourself, or your spouse.