Our world puts so much pressure on us to work harder, faster and squeeze more in to our already overloaded lives. Many of us are feeling more and more exhausted. Many of us are looking for an alternative lifestyle. Many of us are seeking ways of having lives which reflect more of a balance between busyness and rest.
Do you feel the world breathing heavily nowadays? Do you hear the sound of panting? Do you hear that exhausted gasp of a world which is permanently out of breath?
Many people face exhaustion as a perpetual state of existence. Our quality of life suffers as a result.
We have less time for people – how many friends have you got on your list that you have been meaning to get in touch with for ages?
Our marriages suffer – we spend less quality time together, our sex lives are impaired by our constant exhaustion and many couples are feeling the strain.
Our health can suffer as we push ourselves harder and harder.
And the world gasps on, because it feels like the controls on the treadmill have been overridden. We can’t find the deceleration buttons anymore.
And yet there is a way of slowing down. Our lives were never designed to be lived flat out. The Creator of our world designed the perfect rhythm to live by – a perfect balance of busyness and rest.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Jesus – Matthew 11:28, The Message
But what does this look like in practice?
How can we manage to make this work in our 21st century workaholic culture?
How can we get back to the simplicity of rest when the world keeps going on and on and on…?
Well, Keri Wyatt Kent in her book Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity gives us some key ways of getting our lives more in balance and to live taking God’s command to rest more seriously.
She uses her experiences as a journalist and retreat leader to give us insights into how she has managed to put the brakes on, slow down and what simple boundaries and practices she has engaged to help her to do this.
This is not a book based on lofty theory. It is peppered with real life stories of how different people, reflecting a variety of contexts and pressures, manage to live in Sabbath Simplicity. How they manage to rest despite their careers, despite their young family, despite the reality of their lives. She even addresses the issue of how if only one person in the family wants to honour the Sabbath and how this can be integrated with the rest of the family’s lifestyles.
She is thoughtful about how our Sabbath living becomes a practice. Not some legalistic list of rules, but a philosophy to live by which takes on a different shape for different people. She invites us to look at six aspects of Sabbath – resting, reconnecting, revising, pausing, playing, and praying.
“offers the antidote or cure for the symptoms of our hurried adrenaline-overloaded, task-oriented culture.”
Her call to Sabbath living is a welcome invitation – isn’t full of more to-do’s or an overload of guilt for ways in which we are failing. She simply takes us by the hand and leads us on a journey to reflect on our lifestyles and make simple steps which will provide the space to rest and reconnect with God and our loved ones on a regular basis.
To listen to that simple command of God and live that fullness of life that He promised us – a life of quality not quantity.
Shared this post with Simply Helping Him, We are THAT Family, Raising Homemakers, Rachel Wojnarowski, Raising Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Jenni Mullinix, Christian Mommy Blogger, Simply Helping Him, Womanhood with Purpose and Deep Roots at Home.