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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
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.

Comments (14)

  • Seth,

    Andy and I are always encouraged by your blogs. This last year God has been teaching me so much about resting and the importance of allowing myself to rest. I claim this “My soul finds rest in God alone”. This week God took me to Matthew 5:1 and John 4:6 where the scriptures refer to Jesus “sitting down”. I praise God that Jeremiah 50:6 tells me “He is my Resting Place”. God has led me to a number of places in the bible where he has told me to “be still”. It seems that when I allow myself to “stand still or be still” like it says in 2 Chronicles 20:15-18, it is then that God is able to do the battle through me and I experience God’s power, presence, and victory in such a precious way which results in praise and glory to God. I am so thankful for God’s word and how He continues to teach me how to “rest” and it seems that even through rest I continue to get to know Him better.
    Wendy Ingram

  • Perfect timing! The girls are down for a nap and the chores need to be done but I’m spent. I thought I would take a minute and read your blog before taking on my never ending to do list. I think I will sip an ice tea and journal instead! The chores can wait until my spirit is recharged. Enjoy the rest!!!

  • Have a great time of rest. Does that mean less than daily blogs? Looking forward to enjoying some times of rest with your son.

  • Yay! Seasons of rest, while difficult for some people, can be some of the sweetest blessings from God. You are Karen are wonderful, wonderful people… 🙂

  • We get filled up so that we can be poured out. Congratulations Seth & Karen on a great summer of ministry and pouring yourselves into the lives of others. May there be many, many more!

  • yes, thank you! i’ll take some of that.

    (ps – i signed up for your blogs again now that i have american internet)

  • Seth, I love reading your blogs! They have always been a blessing and a challenge for me in my walk with God. Thank you so much for this one. I have consistently had a hard time slowing down in my life until my disability and even it has a hard time slowing me down at times. God has shown me much in the Word where He speaks the words “Be still, and Know that I am God.” I had such a hard time with this and still do at times. Its as you say, it just isn’t a part of our culture here in America. I have learned it isn’t just in Europe that they value the time of rest. In some places it is built into every single day where everything shuts downs and you can’t find anything open. They value rest so much. I find it amazing that even when God first created the world after each day…. He rested. This wasn’t written just for the heck of it. Thank you sooo much for this blog. I needed this reminder today. I hope and pray that you will enjoy your time of rest and find a place with God there to renew your self.

  • i think that is an interesting “stab” at “boxy” people in this blog. its true when overly busy people finally set boundaries and choose to not engage in work beyond work that they tend to push this on other people who live beyond their same level of boundary but i tend to respect those who put down some boundaries on work, which i think you do as well but felt like there was some sarcasm here…maybe not

  • Seth – just wanted to say thanks for this. As you know, I’m not one of those boxy people with brightly colored lines…and it comes with some condemnation sometimes. Thanks for understanding and reminding me that we’re all different, and it’s okay!

    Always an encouragement 🙂

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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