WoW 033: On rhythms of rest [Words of Wisdom]

Without margin in your day, week, month, and year, you will not thrive. Without seasons and cycles of rest, you will drain your energy and won't adequately restore it. Some people believe that working without resting, not taking vacations, or working 80 hours a week is a badge of honor, but it's a fool's errand. It won't stand the test of time.

Take a Sabbath.

Choose one day off every week of no work.

Only feast, worship, rest, relate and do what revitalizes on your Sabbath day.

The week is the only calendar item created by humans. It initially revolved around the command Moses brought from God to the Jews in the Old Testament to keep the Sabbath holy. The command of the Sabbath is listed next to fundamental rules for maintaining order in society: do not murder, do not steal, don't give false testimony.

Prioritizing regular rhythms of rest and worship is critically essential for you to flourish! Ignore this at your peril.

Rationalizing not taking a day off to rest, relate, and worship will lead to your ruin, just like stealing, killing, and lying.

If you don't learn to rest, spend time in awe, and enjoy the simplicity of being with loved ones, you will pay the price, often in unexpected ways.

But if you learn to take rest seriously, you will learn to take the present moment seriously.

You will not view time only as a way to produce. You will grow in joy because God did not create you merely to be productive but to love and be loved.

So take an entire day and make it different from all the others. If your other six days a week are full of to-do lists, your Sabbath can look like not having a to-do list. If you create on the other six days, do not create on your Sabbath. Only consume and rest and relate.

The end goal of life isn't to be more productive but to live a life of love and joy. The good life isn't fundamentally about getting more things done. You won't be focused on that week's or that year's to-do list on your death bed. You will want to know that you made a difference in the lives of those you love. Life is for loving and being deeply present. If you don't practice this regularly, you will not grow in it.

Take the Sabbath seriously, and margin and faith will spill out into the rest of your life. You will grow in faith because you have been practicing weekly what it looks like to surrender what is out of your control and let the week's work be done.

For those who have long defined ourselves by what we accomplish, the Sabbath becomes beautiful and perhaps terrifying. Terrifying because it requires us to question the mask of performance we have been wearing. Beautiful, because if it is true that performance is not the primary definition of our value, then we can be loved just as we are.

It takes courage to choose to rest. Deciding to add margin into your busy life and not work when you could, is a way to acknowledge that, ultimately, you are not in control. It requires admitting you have limitations. It embraces the scarcity of time and the choice to relish the present moment and those with whom you have to share it. It requires laying down what you could do today, knowing that this is the path to peace.

Rest, my friends, rest. Take one day a week to rest, worship, and love.


"The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary. The kitten similarly becomes a cat on the basis of instinct. Nature and being are identical in creatures like them. But a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and his or her commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day by day. These decisions require courage."

The Courage to Create, by Rollo May

"And then we started practicing Sabbath. And I started to be more present, less distracted, less and less there and more and more here. And the more here I was, the more I learned that all we have is the present. All we have is today. This is obvious, true, and revolutionary if you take it seriously."

How to Be Here, by Rob Bell


What beliefs or lies must you surrender in order to actually take a Sabbath?

How can I make my Sabbath different from the other six days a week?

What would an ideal Sabbath look like?

What would it look like if I took rest seriously?


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Live wisely,


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