Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rest for the Soul

When it comes to taking a modern-day Sabbath, not all ways are created equal.

by David Valentine
For years, I mistook “checking out of reality” for “rest.” To relax, I would binge-watch Netflix or SportsCenter for an entire afternoon or play video games until that pesky homework from my philosophy class could no longer be avoided. Unfortunately, this never once made me feel rested. In my experience, checking out leads only to a numbing of pain and fatigue from the previous workweek, not true healing or a fuller, more meaningful life.
Resting literally means to be still, to cease from work, or to be held still in a single spot by another object. I find the last part of the definition to be the most fitting with regards to what it means for the Christian to rest. We are held still by something (or rather someone)—the God of the universe.
I knew there had to be a better way to find true rest, and I discovered it in the Christian discipline of biblical meditation. I’d always associated meditation with the Far East, but as the writer of Psalms 1 says, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (vv. 1-2).

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