Rest, [the noun] is the refreshing quiet or ease or change of activity that brings relief. It can also mean ease of activity, relief or freedom from anything that wearies or disturbs. It is mental or spiritual calm, tranquillity. What pictures come to your mind with that description?
Jesus had some direct observations about rest and said this; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29.
These statements are revolutionary in our time demanding, technology laden, high production oriented, pressure cooker American lifestyle. Science now is finding that times of proper rest brings a higher degree of production in an individual than one who just keeps working more hours under pressure.
The dramatic change of ‘stepping off the treadmill of life to rest in Jesus’ is difficult to do in a day. It can often take two to three days to allow the body to center down and really rest. You cannot hurry up this relaxation process. However, we find that those people who know how to live in a daily rhythm of specified times of intentional rest in the middle of intense work find it easier to completely rest when given a longer period of time. In the same way those pastor couples who are coming for a second time actually tell us that the feeling of rest begins in their car on the way to the retreat. They know what to expect, they anticipate the rest that is coming ahead so the relaxation process can begin before they even arrive. Amazing!