Productivity and rest

One temptation for assessing one’s value is to cheat. We cheat ourselves and others when we decide that value equals productivity. I am a big fan of productivity, but I have learned that the most productive among us are those who learn how to relax. It turns out that boredom enhances creativity.

When we cheat our evaluations of self and others by limiting our perspective on what is valuable, we are not living within the flow of rest that God encourages us to enter.

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Mark 2:27 NIV

A day of rest is intended to be….restful. How can you find restful spots in your day?

Rest battles fantasy living

Once a year Pete and I try to get away for a week or two. It’s not a vacation so much as it is a retreat. We go to the same place every year. The environment is beautiful and predictable. We rent a friend’s house and there is little access to our traditional numbing distractions. We cannot work; we cannot eat food for convenience sake (i.e. fast food that is not as healthy as other choices); we cannot get distracted with the news or sporting events or lifetime movies.

We bring nutritious foods and eat in. Exercising on paddle boards and kayaks, hiking up and down the mountain to the lake’s dock and setting up a portable gym in the basement - it’s so much fun AND offers comfort and joy that is pure gold. We read. We rest. We play games. Pete says that watching the clouds float across the sky is as close to pure peace as he ever gets. I agree.

Because of what we learned at the lake, we have begun to institute comfort and joy rituals at home too. We play board games at night after dinner. We go for a walk together. We read. We find pockets of time to rest - something we rarely gave ourselves permission for in the past. Our old way of thinking about change did not include dollops of comfort and joy. Perhaps that is why we were so frustrated by our lack of meaningful change!!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

~ Psalm 91:1-2 NIV