On Rest and Mixed Messages

Today is Saturday and I always look forward to the weekends. I know we shouldnt live for the weekends, but I do look forward to them as they are times where I can spend time with my husband, spend time reading books that aren’t work related, go out for the day and not have to get up for 7:30.

I often wonder what it means to rest well or even to rest. As Christians we have so many mixed messages about how we should use our time and we also try to have the sabbath but to be honest there are so many different opinions about the sabbath that I don’t think anyone knows what to do with it or even if we should have it! There are so many demands on our time or even for our attention but perhaps not ourselves. Twitter and Facebook demand our attention but cares less about our minds and souls, it envelopes you in until you have finished clicking all the “likes, retweets, photos, messages etc” and then spits you back out into reality feeling slightly disoriented. Do these things aid or hinder my rest? Then people say that we spend too much time on these social networking things and we should get out in the real world, except the real world is also in front of their screens pressing the “like” button…

Ok, so what about TV? I like watching TV, sometimes this does cause me to rest especially watching films. I love watching films and a box set series. But then is that rest? People say that we watch too much TV and we shouldnt and we should get off our sofas and get out there in the wind and rain and kick a bag of air around. And when you watch that TV don’t you sometimes feel that nagging of  “does God think this is a good use of my time…?”

Perhaps your rest time should be a Sunday Sabbath where you go to church morning and evening… but then sometimes church doesn’t feel like rest.

Maybe your rest should be just reading your bible… but sometimes that doesn’t feel like a rest either. I love reading my bible but sometimes I need to read something else.

Its funny isn’t it? People say all sorts of different things and then you have the silent rules of christianity (I mean, it is about Grace but of course there are those silent noonespeaksabout rules that you must keep…). Have you ever found that?

Well, this is what I like to do when I need to rest:

I like to stay in bed till mid morning. I like to read a sci-fi/fantasy book. I like to watch films. Sometimes I like to chat with a friend or see a friend – sometimes I don’t. I like bake and cook and I like to cross stitch. I also like to play my guitar and also take pictures and pretend I am a photographer. I like to write. I also like to play on the Wii fit so that I feel like I am doing exercise but not in the rain. I like to have friends over for dinner. I also like to do all of these things with my husband.

None of these seem spiritual or holy. Maybe you disapprove. Maybe God is Lord of everything and delights that his children enjoy such things that arent prayer meetings or anything stamped with “Christian” on the front?

What do you like to do when you are resting?


4 thoughts on “On Rest and Mixed Messages

  1. I liked this post – I think it does sum up much of the western/middle-class (Christian worker?) angst about rest and how we use it.

    I like your description of a day of rest – sounds nice, and that it ‘fits you’. Maybe that’s what makes something restful? Maybe that’s why we can’t apply rules, because different people find different things restful?

    I think we find diff things restful at different life stages too. Before having a baby, I would have thought that ‘looking after a baby’ would be most unrestful. But turns out it’s less like ‘looking after him’ and more like enjoying his company. The days of lie-ins are over, and they were nice and restful, but this way is nice too. Enjoy your sabbath!

  2. Glad to hear you’re making the most of the day off! I’ve been enjoying some rest too. Today that’s looked like a looooong lie-in, a bacon sandwich with friends for lunch, and a walk in the biting, cold fresh air, with camera in hand to capture the moments. Now sitting down to watch a favourite film with my housemates while I wait for dinner to cook. Good times!

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