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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Spiritual Outlook: Rest and repeat

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This Christmas

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So, they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” (Mark 6:30-32)

Our original freedom fighter and justice advocate, Jesus Christ, took time to step away and rest.

Jesus modeled rest and took naps.

Jesus. Took. Time. To. Rest.

Repeat it again.

The spiritual practice of rest

I received a card that said even the woke need to rest. Rest is resistance in a culture and society that doesn’t take time to pause. We are called to reinvent how we view rest. We often view rest as a visitor, a reward or occasional part our life. However, rest should take up residence and be part of our regular rhythm. We can unwind from the grind. In fact, it is necessary.

Rest is liberation

And I repeat: Jesus took time to rest.

Did you get that? Jesus took time to rest.

Rev. Tricia Hersey, the creator of the Nap Ministry, reminds us that exhaustion does not create liberation. Rest is not a luxury; it is essential. It is not unselfish to fill my cup before pouring into someone else. I cannot pour from an empty vessel. Rest allows you to wake up — energy and spirit is restored.

Self-care steps

• Make yourself a priority: “We get so caught up in trying to do things for God that we forget that that all God wants is for us to spend time together. What good is service to God if we have lost the Lord in our purpose for serving?” -Kirk Byron Jones

• Meditate on scriptures and remind yourself that Jesus took the time to step away and rest. He set the standard.

• Small steps: give yourself 5-minute breaks. Do not disturb, including social media.

• Accountability partners: pray for God to send you a Jethro (see Exodus 18:17-19). Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law. After he observed Moses during his workday from sunup to sundown, he told him that he was going to wear himself out. Ask for friends to keep you accountable and do the same for them. True friends will speak the truth to you in love.

Lord, lift me up for Your blessings today. I pray that you will anoint me with strength and self-care today, tomorrow and always. I pray that You will grace me with patience and wisdom. I pray that You will encourage me throughout the day with reminders to take moments to care for myself.

Rest is not a luxury; it is essential. It is not unselfish to fill my cup before pouring into someone else. I cannot pour from an empty vessel.

Rest is liberation.

Take time to rest.

Jesus took time to rest.

What would Jesus do?

Rest.

Rest and Repeat,

Rev. Sheila P. Spencer

Rev. Sheila P. Spencer is an author, poet, teacher and preacher. You can contact her at CustomMadeInspiration@gmail.com and her website is www.sheilapspencer.com.

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