3 Effective Ways to (Actually) Embrace a Rhythm of Rest
By: Bobi Ann Allen
Is it just me or is genuine rest elusive?
There is an angst deep within me for my mind to slow down and my soul to breathe. Do you feel it? An ache for contentment and room for God to move in your life?
This yearning is evidence of God at work in your life. He is drawing you into a lifestyle and rhythm of rest.
There are and always will be seasoned haired schedules and scores of demands. They shouldn’t be ours all the time. They should be seasonal and sporadic.
Living a rhythm of rest is counter cultural and just plain hard. The world functions at break-neck speed and choosing anything different is considered weird.
And there you have it-experiencing a rhythm of rest will require choices so contrary to our culture, it will at first seem awkward and dicey.
Embracing a rhythm of rest is ACTUALLY possible. Here are three ways you can ACTUALLY experience and embrace a rhythm of rest. For six more ways, click here!
1. Create Margin
The words of a book make up the meat of the story; without the white borders around them, those words would be difficult to read.
Our lives are quite similar. You need margin–breathing room.
So, how do you get breathing room in your life? You schedule it-plain and simple. Obviously, it is much simpler for me to type those words than it is to carry it out. So, here’s what you do:
Decide what you want margin to accomplish. Do you want to have more time to read, to spend with you kids, your husband, God? Whatever it is WRITE IT DOWN.
By acknowledging your priorities, you are defining your goals.
If you are still reading, you are communicating to yourself you want to live a rhythm of rest.
2. Slow Down
Creating margin and slowing down go hand-in-hand.
I’m a Type A – over-achiever. I don’t say that pridefully. I say that ashamedly. Sure I accomplish a LOT of “stuff.” But I’ve noticed my busy leaves little room for intentional living.
My busiest, hardest-working days have rarely been my most purposeful and productive ones.
God didn’t design me for busy. Nor did He design me for lazy. He did, however, design me to have relationship with Him!
Busy isn’t wrong until it pushes out room for me to enjoy and rest in relationship with God.
You can’t program a slowed heart and mind. But you can make intentional choices to discipline yourself to sit quietly with God with the desire of experiencing God’s rest.
Stop talking long enough (and for some of us that may be longer than we’d like) to hear from God and to purposely slow down during the day to notice the wonder of God at work.
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”-Luke 10:4-42 (NLT)
Do you know what Mary had discovered? Mary found rest at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:39)
3. Release Your Efforts To God
Follow me here, how many of us subconsciously make a deal with God that in exchange for our obedience we get to determine the results of our efforts?
We work and push and strive for a level of perfection and control that squeezes out room for God’s power.
“These are the words of him who is holy and true…What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”-Revelation 3:7
God is more than capable. He is trustworthy with your efforts. Lean in, let go, and trust God to put you in the perfect place and the perfect time.