It is Sunday. In the Christian faith, most of us observe Sunday as the Sabbath day and the day we attend a place of worship. God created the world in six days and on the seventh day; He rested. The seventh day was set aside for worship and contemplation as a way to honor the Creator who gave us life. In fact, observing the seventh day is a commandment. Worship and rest are rules for life.

   Since it is Sunday, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you today about how important and significant the whole issue of rest is to each of us. I share this with you because I am a work-in-progress in learning how to really rest myself. I fear that I have become some sort of workaholic. If I am not a workaholic, I am a maniac on a cell phone or computer. I am also addicted to devouring reading material essential to my professional tasks of life. And, at 51 years of age; I am just now beginning to learn the art of rest and relaxation.

   Rest is essential to our good mental and spiritual health. To rest often means we have to stop doing something that is vitally necessary in a time of great difficulty. Rest has to be planned; it is not just the cessation of work or the act of staying home or going and doing something fun. True rest entails becoming still and denying ourselves the many forms of busyness and stimulation that find us almost every waking second. We have to find those environments that are conducive to rest, like a front porch or a patch of woods. It might be sitting in the bleachers of a baseball game or in a comfortable chair in a room by ourselves.

   Rest means contemplation and meditation. Rest means we have to be alone or just share quiet moments with people we love. Rest can involve a nap or long walk. Rest is an art, not an activity. It means learning how to shut down our minds and discharge the guilt of undone tasks. It means forgiving ourselves and understanding how trivial many of our life’s activities have become. Rest means accepting simplicity and obscurity.

   Attaining rest does not just recharge us; it transforms us. It transforms us because we achieve a greater awareness of God and that He really just wants to commune with us and that He loves us just for who we are, not for what we have done.

   I have neglected true rest for so long, that it will take months and years for me to really develop rest as an art or to unload the burdens I have carried on my back for so long. Maybe the devil does not want us to rest because he knows that by attaining rest, stillness and tranquility; we will find a deeper sense of love, peace, forgiveness and the essence of our soul.

   I am sorry, but I have to go now. It is time to rest. So, be well and get still…rest.