Resting to me has always kind of seemed counterproductive. I get restless knowing there is something I could be doing if I am not doing it. Don’t get me wrong… this “something” is not always productive in and of itself. However, God has given me the chance in my life to speak with or know a great deal of very productive, influential people who are changing the world in amazing ways. In getting to know these people and hear about how they operate, they normally fall into two categories. The first category is always on. They are at their jobs or causes, mentally if not physically, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The second category very intentionally and sometimes painfully makes a clear boundary that they will not work or be engaged in their cause for certain periods of time. These two categories of people are not equally effective or efficient in achieving their world-changing goals. The second category, the one that makes a concentrated effort to distance themselves from the hard work of trying to positively influence a broken world, is far more organized, effective, and productive. Furthermore, they are a lot more proactive, rather than reactive, to issues that may arise in their respective fields or causes. In contrast, the people who are always working on something still change the world, but they are far more likely to seem burnt out, disorganized, and panicked when a problem arises (and problems tend to do just that).
So, thinking about this difference, I started thinking about myself: which kind of person am I? Unfortunately, more often than not, I am the one that does not effectively distance myself from the causes for which I care about. That is not only counterproductive based on what I have witnessed, but it disobeys a pretty clear command from God: “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10).
Therefore, I am resolving to change. No more checking work emails when I’m bored, constantly thinking about the people who are hurting that I try to help at work, or spending my free time making agendas for things outside of work. I will be more intentional about REST.
This week’s suggestion of how you should change the world is to join me in making sabbath-style rest a priority. Contrary to popular belief, working all of the time does not increase your productivity, but has the opposite effect. Not only that, but when we are constantly engaged in working, it is easy to feel like we have the responsibility to change things or that what we do change is the work of our own hands- and neither could be further from the truth! God can move without us… so we should take the time to reflect on his work so that he can more effectively use us as vessels to change the world.