If you do not create time in your life to rest and reflect then you will breeze through life unable to understand all the Lord is using you to do- functioning as a machine, exactly opposite to how God created you to function.
I Am Not A Machine – The Art of Rest + Reflection
“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested for all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2:3
How often do you slow down and reflect upon the “work of creating” you have done? To sit and look back upon all of the things the Lord has used you for. These things could be small or big, have happened in the mundane or in something completely out of the blue – no measurement exists that will deem something worthy or not of being reflected upon- it is all worthy.
The question is not WHAT do you look back on but rather, do you look back at all?
Do you take the time needed to accept the reality of your life. After a conversation with a friend do you sit with what was shared and reflect on it and give thanks to the Lord for gifting you with that friendship, or do you just pull out your phone and start to scroll on social? After completing a task at work or school, do you allow yourself to have a little party and sit in your accomplishments thanking God for the skills He gave you before going on to the next “to-do”? What about your morning devos- do you make time to come around to them at the end of the day and remind yourself of what you read and thank the Lord for providing you with that time to grow deeper in your relationship with Him?
If you are at all similar to the grand majority of our generation, your answer will probably be “no.”
With every new technological advance, the increase of competitiveness in the work field, and the continuous pressure TO DO EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, time is flying by faster than we can understand AND often times with less reward and satisfaction. There are many days when my head hits the pillow and I think, “What did I even do today? It all just seems like blur.” Does that happen to you?
I don’t know about you, but I do not want to continue to live like this.
I want to live a life of reflection. One filled with appreciation for all that I am given and all that I get to do. A life lived with complete gratitude and thankfulness to the Creator who created me to do all that I get to do.
The only way to do this, is to rest and reflect and remind yourself that you are not a machine.
I Am Not A Machine
Work is essential- yes.
We are created to work – yes.
Work gives us a sense of purpose and value and worth – yes.
BUT work is NOT our identity, value and/or worth. God is.
In Exodus 5, we are told about Pharaoh demanding insatiable and impossible quotas from his slaves in regards to their brick production. The levels were already high, and after being requested to “let his people go” by Moses and Aaron, in his anger- Pharaoh strips his slaves of the straw needed to make the bricks and tells them to still hit the same quota. It is this continuous cycle of never being enough and there always be more to do.
Sound familiar to your own life?
Have you ever felt like those slaves must have felt in Egypt? That whatever they do will never be enough? That they have to keep creating and building and producing because of this looming force over their lives? For you, it might not be in the physical sense of bricks or products or other tangible things that you have to get done, but it could feel like the pressure of society nagging you to always be doing something? I think part of that pressure is good, as we are called to create and work, but if there is no balance (which often times there is not) then you will lack the time needed to reflect upon all that you HAVE created, and completely miss the opportunity to thank the Lord for it in the process.
Rest + Reflection
In Hebrew, the word for rested (used in Genesis 2) is shabat which is where we get the word Sabbath. Shabat can also be translated “to stop,” “to cease,” “to be complete,” or (my favorite) “to celebrate.” How beautiful right? (info taken from Garden City). Our verse in Genesis 2, “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested for all the work of creating that he had done,” takes on a beautiful new meaning when you exchange the word “rest” for “celebrate.”
“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he CELEBRATED for all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2:3
Can’t you just see God looking back at all He had done with Creation in those 6 days, saw that it was good, and then celebrated? Like the Lord, it is important to take pride in what we do (that is what God does through us), to reflect back upon it and celebrate how we are being used.
So whether you started a company, got a good score on an exam, had a killer conversation with a friend, came alongside someone you are mentoring during a hard time, sent someone a letter, picked up the tab for dinner or whatever else it may be- big or small – take time to reflect back upon it and give thanks for all God is using you to do.
If you neglect to do this, and don’t make time to reflect back upon your life, it will pass you by before you know it and leaving you at the end of your day hitting the pillow thinking, “what just happened? That was all a blur.”
God intended us to do life with Him, side by side, step in step, hand in hand, and the only way we will be able to do that is if we create time in our schedules to sit and meet with Him daily. The time you spend with Him is sacred, don’t let anything get in the way.
Protect your time with Him, because in the end, your time with Him gives you life.
Silence + Solitude: Podcast Series by Bridgetown (absolutely incredible look into how we can live a life based on the principles and spiritual disciplines of rest + reflection)
Garden City – John Mark Comer: Work, Rest and the Art of Being Human (a life altering book that changes your perspective on the balance and relationship between work + rest- a must read)
Rest Because You Can: Jonathan Parnell (awesome short article on how we can stop building bricks)