My Fitbit watch tracks my sleep. I got 6 hours and 19 minutes of sleep last night. Not too bad. The National Sleep Foundation suggests 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for people my age. But when I checked my sleep this morning, I was hoping it would be less, not more.
Getting rest might be the hardest thing I do each day. And I doubt I’m the only one. In a culture where productivity is praised, it’s harder than ever to rest.
Hope can be hard to come by — at least, that’s what people think. According to the American Psychological Association, the suicide rate in the United States has risen nearly 33 percent since 1999. Nothing so clearly suggests a lack of hope.
Maybe it’s because we have an arsenal of feeble hopes. Money and relationships. Power and possessions. But none of those things last forever. And when those feeble hopes disappear, we think we have no hope at all.
One of my few daily commitments is alone time with God. I cherish it greatly. In fact, it’s the most important part of my day. It sets the tone for everything I’m struggling with or contemplating.
But distractions attempt to get the best of me—specifically, my iPhone. You see, my iPhone is my alarm clock. However, it’s also the hub of my text messages, social media notifications, and every other distraction known to man!
It’s an exception, I know, to the “re—” rhythm. But certainly not to life.
If you desire to come closer to God, rest is unavoidable. It puts a fresh spin on the imagination. It creates a wider perspective. Rest.
Rest ensures ample opportunities. Collect your thoughts. Enjoy nature. Drink some coffee. Find the energy required to continue. But most importantly, rest is a taxi to the presence of God.
Jesus often rests throughout scripture. Take a look.
“Early the next morning Jesus went out to an isolated place…” (Luke 4:42).
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16).
“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law” (Romans 13:8, NLT).
Thanks, Paul. It’s not like I have a whole list of responsibilities already. My homework needs finished. My messages need prepared. My guitar strings need changed. My eyes need expansion clips. And now, Apostle, you’re telling me that I need to love people.