My friend @cheapcyclist recently shared his
scorn encouragement for individuals (such as myself) who are more docile and sedentary than is helpful for our general well-being, as unique persons, but also as communities of unique persons. While I readily identify with all of his points, I cannot, nor will not, refute or despise his exhortations.
However, rest needs to be a part of the plan. NO, I am not suggesting that cheapcyclist issued a call to action for unceasing motion or activity. (or did he?) I believe that he is (generally) on the mark, that we “rest” too much already, and in the most non-helpful ways.
Following a recent, overwhelming period of activity, I felt it necessary to take an intentional day of rest. I disconnected from everything (well, almost), took a folding camp chair and set out to sit under the sun, trees and breezes of a beautiful autumn day. Which is, more or less, exactly what I did.
It was not as restorative as I had desired, but it certainly had a positive effect. Part of the problem is, despite making a concerted effort to “Be still, and know,” (Psalm 46:10) I could not disconnect from the internal, mental whirlpool – circumstances already lived, situations anticipated (positive and negative) and everything in between.
Rest is good and necessary for anyone. Intentional rest is called for within a life of faith, aka Sabbath-keeping. But, why is it so difficult to rest well, or rest completely? Somehow, it seems even our “rest” is filled with busy-ness. How seriously do we need to take this command/exhortation/instruction?
Sabbath-rest seems to be a pretty big deal. A recent search of a popular online retailer turned up 15,000+ book titles on these two keywords alone. Rest is important, but equally important is the manner in which we rest, how we rest, what we try to rest from, how long we rest, and so on. While, at times, “rest” may simply be the equivalent of mindless inactivity (which is not always negative), we must remember that is not the totality of purpose for rest.
If you are curious to read more (either while you are on the move or at rest), I would recommend Marva Dawn’s “Keeping the Sabbath Wholly,” and Walter Brueggemann’s “Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now” from among the other 15,000+ titles.
Again, as @cheapcyclist would encourage, “Move more,” but consider being more attentive to your rest, as well.