Good morning from Westminster, MD!

Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Outer Bank of North Carolina with my family. While rest and relaxation is something I enjoy, it is not something I often choose. Last week I was reminded how important it is to occasionally take a step back from the craziness of life, even when it is not convenient. Many times I do not realize how much I need to be recharged and rejuvenated until I actually take the time to do it. I think this is why I often fail to do it. The truth is that God designed us to need rest. In fact, he tells us to take a Sabbath day, or a day without work, each week. While I believe the Sabbath was designed to be a time to focus on God and to trust Him with our needs, I believe it is also meant to be a time of rest and relaxation. It appears that God knew we would get caught up in the busyness of life so he created a day for rest and told us that we should take it. I think that is pretty neat. In Mark’s recording of Jesus’ life, we can also read about a time when he encouraged his followers to rest. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” (Mark 6:31-32, NIV) We need rest.

Building opportunities to recharge and rejuvenate into my life is something I hope to be more intentional about moving forward. While it is hard to take time away from all of life’s commitments, I find that I am far more effective when I do. The truth is rest allows me to better do what I need to do when I am not resting. While taking a week-long vacation once a month is not practical, building small blocks of time into my schedule to rest certainly is. I was designed for it and so were you.

– James Belt

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