Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Post - Adrian Waller (Rest 3)

I stumbled on Adrian's blog quite recently.  At the time, he and his wife were experimenting with keeping a sabbath.  It was his experiment, in fact, that gave me the idea for this series on rest.  When I asked if he would contribute, his immediate response was positive, even though he knew very little about me.  In fact, I think being positive and encouraging is one of Adrian's special gifts to the blogosphere, along with his great thoughts and writing.  I'm more than thrilled to introduce him here... after you've enjoyed his contribution to the rest-fest, head on over and check out his other work on Life Before the Bucket.

- Too Busy to Not Rest -
Adrian Waller

My journey with rest began long ago time ago. At birth, in fact.

Until recently, though, it’s been a failure.

I once equated rest solely with sleep. And though that is sometimes the case, sleep is not the end-all be-all of rest. In fact, it’s only a microcosm on a spectrum of restful habits that we can engage in.

This perspective changed recently, though, when I discovered a book that wrecked my life.

Through my first month of this book, I engaged in praying 6 times a day (I could never quite muster up the midnight prayer, which would’ve made it 7). Sometimes that stressed me out, and sometimes it relaxed me. For instance, when I began my “big” senior paper (which ended up being about 45 pages), I was interrupted by a reminder to pray for wisdom. Coincidence? Maybe. But it was a coincidence I wouldn’t forget.

In addition to praying like a monk, I engaged in an intentional observation of what many refer to as Sabbath. Now, technically speaking, Sabbath is a Jewish custom. Most people think of it as outdated, antiquated, and unnecessarily burdensome. However, being a Christian, I discovered that Sabbath is something that Jesus took seriously, and something I should practice as well.

Through my first month of the 7 challenge, I prayed and Sabbathed like nobody’s business. It was enjoyable, peaceful, and helped to relieve a lot of stress from a time that otherwise would’ve been a wreck. I learned a lot about resting, and conversely, about working.

Fast-forward a few weeks, and we find ourselves here and now, still searching for rest. Kerry has started a great series with a lot of great perspectives lined up on this topic. And if you’ve read my previously written posts (linked earlier), you have an idea of what I’ve learned about rest and about keeping a Sabbath, or at least finding a rhythm of resting in your daily life.

What else, then, is there to say about rest? I’ve looked at what it looks like, and its implications for how we treat days of rest as well as days of work. Is that all there is to this topic?

Thankfully, it isn’t.

You see, the weekend after we completed our first month of 7, I wasn’t sure how seriously we would take observing a Sabbath.

And it turns out, every obstacle I could think of was trying to help me avoid resting: schoolwork was piling up, our schedules were getting tighter, our families were visiting, and it seemed like there were less free hours in the coming week than usual to accomplish the tasks I had to do.

And then the excuses started rolling in…

Well, maybe I’ll rest on Monday instead.

I should just skip a week – this work is important.

I want to make time for my family visiting, and that’s a good thing, right? So I should skip Sabbathing in favor of working for them. Yeah, that sounds good.

And it seemed like the more that was going on, the sooner the next Sabbath approached. Would I do it? Would I skip it? Delay it? At that point, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.

But then I remembered how at peace I had been during the last month. How, regardless of starting the longest paper I’ve ever written, I still managed to take a day off. How keeping the Sabbath has actually taught me to rest and work better.

And suddenly, it was no competition. I rested. And the world kept spinning, my homework, housework, and everything in-between somehow was accomplished, and I was at peace.

It was that weekend, then, that I realized something. There’s nothing more important than this rest and the indescribable peace that it provides.

And I suspect the same may hold true for you. Search intentionally for how you rest best. When you find a rhythm that refreshes you and brings you peace, then you’ll understand. You’ll understand what it means to truly rest (and even to truly work). You’ll understand that ineffable peace. You’ll understand the unmatched solace I experience every week.

You’ll understand what it means to be too busy to not rest.

I am a 22 year old Christian college student, a writer, and an aspiring Marriage and Family Therapist. I'm into video games, marshmallow gun wars, TV shows on Netflix (namely Psych, Bones, and The Office), and my smokin’ hot wife, Kalyn. You can follow my musings on my blog, Life Before the Bucket, or through Facebook and the Twitterverse.


  1. Adrian's fundamentalism, may be good for him, and helps him, so good on him for living his life according to his ideals.

    I dont want in any way, any fundamentalist rules in my life... did that, bought the T shirt and have key ring.

    1. Stu, I don't think you need to adopt "fundamentalist rules" to get something out of this... For me, it's a reminder to actually commit time to rest, not expect it to happen without thought, when life is busy :)

  2. Fair Enough Kerry, but that isn't the way I read it.

    1. Stuart,

      I'm not sure how you use the word fundamentalist, so I couldn't tell you if that's a belief system I subscribe to.

      However, I hope that, like Kerry said, you were able to get something from this, regardless. Rest is important to all of us, and being intentional about making time for it is the only way it will happen. Otherwise, the obstacles I described will take precedence over what is often much-needed rest in our lives.

    2. Hi Adrian. How I use the word Fundamentalist is anyone that uses scripture in a far too prescriptive manner.

      There is however, nothing particularly wrong with what you are doing. I have found from personal experience, applying a literal prescriptive form of scriptural application, leads to a kind of madness. That is me, not you, ok?
      Good luck with your journey.


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