Rest in peace“… it’s a phrase that we all associate with death, burial, the end of life.

But when you actually stop to think about that phrase… why must we wait until the end of our life to rest and be peaceful?  Doesn’t that infer that the opposite is true then too?  That while we are alive… we are stressed, tired and very much non-peaceful?

Except that is not at all how we were meant to live.  Over and over again, God tells us to be peaceful and rest:

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  (Exodus 33:14)

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (Matthew 11:29)

So, why do so many of us think it’s not okay for us to rest?  To take a break, rest our bodies and our souls, particularly on Sunday, the way God intended – “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.”  (Exodus 34:21)

Instead, we all hustle and bustle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Stores and businesses now have Sunday hours and everyone is always go-go-go.  I’ve even observed multiple friends “pushing” their way through illnesses or injuries because they learned somewhere along the way that they “shouldn’t” rest.

And they aren’t the only ones.  The prevailing notion seems to be that if we DO slow down and rest, that somehow makes us “lazy,” “irresponsible” and “weak.”

But to that my response is… “WHO SAYS?”

Who says that makes you weak or lazy?  Maybe it’s your parents’ voices echoing in your head, or a sibling’s.  Maybe you grew up in a family where the motto was – you better be doing something or I will GIVE you something to do!

But the reality is, taking time to rest does NOT make you a bad person.

Our bodies and minds were not meant to be run ragged.  And rest is essential to our overall health.  Whether you do something relaxing like meditation, yoga or stretching, or you simply take time to sit or lie down for 30 minutes.  It IS okay to take some time each day to rest.

In fact, it’s better than okay.  It’s what we were created to do.

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