Being a father of two young children has taught me a lot. No lesson seems to be more valuable, however, than that of rest. Whether it is ensuring our kids get proper rest, or we as parents do the same, without appropriate rest, we all suffer!
Mark Buchannan is a Canadian author who has written much on this subject of rest from a biblical perspective. For those of who you may be interested in learning more about this topic, I recommend his book The Rest of God. The basic idea is learning to find moments of rest, or Sabbath, on a regular basis. I heard a story one time of a dad who worked a 9 to 5 job. After his long day at work, he began his commute home. Upon arrival, he brought with him all the baggage from his day at work into his home, and was unable to be fully present with his family. The family dynamics suffered as a result. After being convicted by the Holy Spirit on this theme of rest and Sabbath, this father changed up his routine a little bit. Instead of coming right in the door after he arrived at home, this dad would sit in the car and listen to one of his favorite worship songs prior to entering his home. As the song would play, the dad felt all the frustration and anxiety of his day (not to mention his drive home!) begin to melt away. The pocket of rest helped this dad to be intentional in the way he was building into the relational dynamics of his family.
Each of us may be able to identify with this story somehow. The point of the story is simple...without rest, we may not be able to engage the world around us in a God-honoring way. Remember that God Himself chose to rest 1 day out of 7 in order to enjoy His creation. We as part of His creation must learn to do the same. Trying finding pockets of quiet, rest and Sabbath this week. Be creative. Turn off the cell phone, unplug from the iPod or blackberry and drink in the moments of rest and rejuvenation. Together as a family, look for moments to rest and enjoy one another. Our life here on earth is about developing relationships. Without rest, we may not have a healthy perspective from which to grow in our relational connections with others.