An Unhurried Life – Part 1: Rest

Happy New Year.

Over the next three weeks, including this week, I want to focus on a subject I feel we all need to hear.  The subject is an Unhurried Life.  I recently read a biography on Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX (space exploration company), the CEO of Tesla (electronic car maker), and now CEO/owner of Twitter.  The biography talked about his drive to succeed in whatever venture he purses.  The author noted that Mr. Musk works insane hours and expects others to do the same.  Mr. Musk lives by the creed of moving fast, breaking things, and making progress toward the goal no matter the cost.

Honestly, after reading the biography, I felt like a loser.  I do not work anywhere close to Mr. Musk’s hours, and I work for the Lord!  However, I am reminded that as a follower of God, my idol is not of this world!  My idol is Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ modeled a different life.  I would say that Jesus lived An Unhurried Life.

Here is my goal over the next three weeks.  I would us all to commit to slowing down and focusing on the things that mean the most to us.  Here is a statement to consider,

A Hurried Life causes me to work when I should be resting, and it causes me to rest when I should be working; a hurried life makes me unbalanced.

How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, stay balanced?  One way is we prioritize rest.  In Mark 6:31-32, Jesus shows us that to be an effective disciple of Christ, we must prioritize rest by setting boundaries for ourselves.

“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.  And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.  And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.”

Mark 6:30–32, ESV

In our text today, we see that Jesus took his disciples to a secluded place so they could rest.[1]

Rest may seem to be the last thing we need, given the world’s obsession with business, but God wants us to adopt His values, not the values of our world.  God values rest, and he also values work.  God rested after he created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 2:2), which means that rest is good in and of itself.  In fact, God commanded His people Israel to rest (Ex. 20:8–11).[2]  The key for us today is balance.  We must balance life demands with rest.

Stephen Covey’s 7th Habit of Highly Effective People is, Sharpen the Saw.  It would be best if you made time to recuperate to maintain your effectiveness.  You cannot afford to NOT rest!  In the long term, and to maintain effectiveness, you must rest.  Jesus understood this, notice that he took his disciples to an “uninhabited place” for them to rest, to take a break from their activities.

Every so often, I hear the argument that a person should not stop and rest because the devil does not.  The devil may not rest, but we are not following the devil.  He is not our example.  He does not give us orders.  We are servants of Jesus Christ, and He has ordered us to rest.  The devil would love to have us not rest, so we wear out quickly.  Vance Havner said, “If you don’t come apart and rest awhile, you will come apart.”[3]

In closing, I pray you will carefully consider how to balance your time and energy between all your commitments and your family?

Dr. Draper Rogers is a pastor with Gardendale First Baptist Church and a contributor to North Jefferson Magazine.
[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 131.
[2] Word in Life Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996), Mk 6:31.
[3] John G. Butler, Jesus Christ: His Disciples, vol. 5, Studies of the Savior (Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2003), 197–198.