On Refusal to Rest

The moon was waning last week. I don’t know that I ever notice stuff like that. But last week on Sunday, I noticed. The moon was waning. And I needed to rest. Even the moon was shouting from the skies that it was time for me to slow down, to pack it up, to rest.

I am admittedly terrible at resting. I over book myself, squeeze one more thing in, keep my kids out too late. All in the name of “it will be fun!” All in the name of “someone needs to do it.” It is part of my charm. (Just ask my husband. He looooves this about me.)

We were finishing up Bible study, taking prayer requests. I had read aloud what I had jotted down in my journal maybe ten minutes earlier. We were talking about what was and wasn’t the gospel. We were talking about the gospel, what it is, what it isn’t. Sometimes I grow so tired of talking about theology. I said I was most interested of the theology of ones hands, what we do with our hands tells a lot about what we believe in our hearts, despite what we comes out of our mouths.

Sometimes it takes a surprisingly short amount of time for my own words to bite me in my own butt. I was asking for prayers for me finding time to do everything when my Bible study interrupted me. “Aren’t you supposed to be resting?” My weak defense of my desires over what I know I need to do was interrupted again. “What are your hands saying Abby, what about the theology of your hands?”

It is strange to think of rest as a radical act. To not do anything when there are things to be done, to trust that your needs will be met even if you aren’t the one meeting all of them, to simply rest in the Father’s hands. It is a radical thing to admit with our hands that we can’t be and do everything, that we need or want. It is a radical thing to rest.

I don’t know why I thought the one about the sabbath was the one of the ten commandments I could completely disregard. The sabbath is becoming the holiest thing I do. Not cooking dinner, having no plans, just hanging out. It is necessary. It is rest. And frankly, it is foreign to me. I don’t know how to do this not doing much thing. It scares me somewhere deep I haven’t quite figured out yet.

Rest is the giant antidote, for the lie of scarcity I have whole heartedly swallowed. There is never enough time! But rest says there is. It says there is less stuff that is important, there is less need and more should. It says some of the shoulds are kind of stupid. It says, if the yoke isn’t light it doesn’t belong to Jesus. Rest says I don’t have to be and do everything. Rest is about the theology of my hands, the fear in my heart, the trusting in a big and merciful God.

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7 thoughts on “On Refusal to Rest

  1. “the lie of scarcity I have wholeheartedly swallowed…” My husband and I have had conversations about this recently related to our children. They have so much! yet are always wanting more. We want to blame it on culture, but it is really our fault. We need to name it what it is, coveting that of our neighbor.

  2. I think the scripture you ar looking for is Mat 11:28-30 ESV
    (28) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

    Jesus is our Sabbath. Your welcome

  3. Oh, yeah. I SO get this. This is the paragraph that grabbed me tonight: “It is strange to think of rest as a radical act. To not do anything when there are things to be done, to trust that your needs will be met even if you aren’t the one meeting all of them, to simply rest in the Father’s hands. It is a radical thing to admit with our hands that we can’t be and do everything, that we need or want. It is a radical thing to rest.” TO TRUST THAT YOUR NEEDS WILL BE MET EVEN IF YOU AREN’T THE ONE MEETING ALL OF THEM. Good golly, you must have a powerful looking glass over there where you live (Georgia, right?) to see the way over here on the CA coast. (I wrote a little about scarcity today, too – but came at it more obliquely. . .http://www.dianatrautwein.com/2013/09/full-to-overflowing/

  4. the one commandment we seem to think doesn’t count? yes, this! thank you for the reminder. When we find we cant do it ll it is because we’re not supposed to.

  5. Abby,
    I have trouble with this. I don’t do rest well. I struggle in that sometimes I let my worth be tied to what I do for others; that that is what makes me worthy. I know God makes me worthy not what I do and I know that rest is good in that it actually makes me better at what I am doing later if I am rested. I know Abby if you don’t take care of yourself then it is hard to take care of others; kids, spouse and students. I swallow the lie if I am not doing something worthy I am not worthy.

  6. Way to hit the nail on the head. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I suddenly went from not doing much to possibly doing too much and I’m not sure where to find balance.

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