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Finding a season of rest

World Race training camp ends today. Our guests are leaving.  At last the revolving door at the Barnes home will stop spinning for a while.  Karen and I won’t be traveling anywhere overseas for a couple of months. Leah is starting school. Seth, Jr. is moving to Colorado.  It’s a se…
By Seth Barnes
World Race training camp ends today. Our guests are leaving.  At last the revolving door at the Barnes home will stop spinning for a while.  Karen and I won’t be traveling anywhere overseas for a couple of months. Leah is starting school. Seth, Jr. is moving to Colorado.  It’s a season of rest. 
 
Rest – that means means different things to different people.  Some people need to go on vacation.  They don’t really begin decompressing until maybe the third day out on the beach.  Other people need a quiet weekend at home and their batteries are recharged. 

I’m a bit of an odd duck – I take little mini-vacations as I go through life. I try to find space in every day to meditate and reflect.  And if, after a particularly busy spot in my life, I can just sit on the couch and journal and think for a day, I’m usually good to go. Karen needs a little more, so we have to calibrate ourselves and make sure that when we step on life’s accelerator again, we’re both good to go.

 
It always amuses me when “boxy” people – the kind of folk who draw bright lines in their lives and segment out time according to 40 hour work weeks – assume that other people need to be as structured as they are in order to rest.  If work bleeds into home-life, it is a cardinal sin for them.  They identify workaholics by the time-stamp on the emails they receive.  If they receive an email after hours, then that person clearly has boundary issues. The fact is – hey we’re all built differently.  We need to not only find space for ourselves, but to give others room to find the space they need.
 
Of course, God is very interested in our peace of mind and the rest that we need in order to have it.  He set up natural boundaries for us – a sabbath every week to de-clutter our minds and re-focus on him. Boundaries in relationships outlined in the Ten Commandments.  He scheduled feasts as a way of highlighting seasons and spiritual rhythms. The Year of Jubilee is a rest from the burden of old debts.  He even mandated that the land has to rest and recoup its nutrients.
 
August is a good time to rest.  We need to take Mark Lampe’s advice, “Life is short, wear tropical shirts.” Over in Europe, everybody shuts down in August.  In many places, you can’t find a store open to get what you need. All the workers have gone to the mountains or the beach.  
 
Here in America, we seem to struggle more to rest.  We’ve gotten into debt and are living beyond our means and we need to work harder just to stay even.  Our work week is much longer than the Europeans’ week.  We labor under a compulsion that produces ever more stress.  And all the while, God is whispering, “Come to me if you’re feeling heavy-laden. I will give you rest.”
 
He built us. He knows our limits better than we do.  He wants us to put our feet up and relax from time to time. And for us at the Barnes homestead, that time is now.  My prayer for you, my friends, is that you find rest for your soul before you launch into another season of productivity.

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