Doesn’t this old guy look rested?
Age can go two ways. One is healthy and the other is ugly.
If you age well, you will always be learning and growing. You will want authentic input from the people around you on whether or not you are showing up as you intend to. You will ask them to be honest with you about many things – relevance, impact, clarity, relational connection, or even how you dress or wear your hair.
One of my mentors and favorite boss is a true example of this. Stacy Cline, Dean of students at Elim Bible Institute, has not only modeled this but lives it out daily. He regularly asks the people around him if he is hitting the mark and affecting the young people he works with.
The other way aging can go takes less effort and is marked by sayings like these:
I’m just built like that, I can’t change.
Well, I’ve been through a whole lot and people should just treat me with more respect.
If they don’t like it, they can just look elsewhere.
I’ve always done it like that and I am not about to change now!
These thoughts will surely isolate and push the wedge in farther, distancing people from healthy growing relationships with others and even with God.
Let’s bring it home. My husband is on Sabbatical right now and it really has me musing about rest. I’ve never been very good at it, it doesn’t come naturally, but it is Biblical and valuable and something I need to learn more about.
Here’s some life learning truths I have found so far:
#1 It’s very hard to rest “more effectively”. I like to do everything more effectively, but that’s kind of the whole point of resting, to cease from striving and take a break.
#2 Resting gives you space to enjoy your life. How sad to live life effectively impacting people, but missing out on enjoying your own life!
#3 If you rest well, you can actually get more done. Think about it. When you come back from vacation or a great weekend, you have more energy to go after whatever is on your plate. When you are exhausted it’s the opposite. It’s actually good use of your time to rest just from an output standpoint.
#4 God modeled rest for us. Exodus 20:11 “The reason is that in six days the Lord made everything—the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. On the seventh day he rested. So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Do you think He was tired or needed a break? He modeled rest for our good and set a Sabbath aside as a holy time.
#5 Rest is Biblical. It is an overarching kingdom truth. This one hurts a bit. I think I am being “all in” when I work more, but Jeremiah 6 :16 quotes God’s thoughts on this “This is what the Lord says: “Stand where the roads cross and look. Ask where the old way is, where the good way is, and walk on it. If you do, you will find rest for yourselves. But they have said, ‘We will not walk on the good way.’’ OUCH! My thinking is changing, but if I am honest I choose the “old ways” more than the good ways all too often…
#6 Resting takes focus and dedication. You could almost say it’s hard work. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, so if you are like me you may need to choose it and lean into it if you want it to happen.
#7 Resting requires trust. It’s actually a problem when you allow yourself to become so self-important that you need to keep going beyond what is good for you. Trust means that God holds the outcomes and if we ask Him what we should be doing one thing at a time, we can rest in trusting Him that what needs to get done will get done.
#8 There is a little known secret that rest comes first, then work. I know that the seventh day came after the work of creation, but what came before those 6 days? And why do each of those days begin with evening and then morning?
#9 Drivenness feels more right than rest. If I am honest I am much more comfortable pushing myself and being busy. When I slow down it feels a little awkward and I am not quite sure what to do with myself.
There I said it! But the good news is I CAN change and I am changing. I am enjoying my life more and more. I am hearing His agenda for each day as I still my soul and listen with my heart.
How about you? Which thought strikes a cord? What do you need to change?