We are a society addicted to work. Our culture worships a god of productivity, or more accurately a god of frenzied activity.
Even our pastimes of supposed “recreation” are often compulsive activities that keep us busy nonstop.
Busyness is our badge of honor. (Dickerson)
Yet the busyness that we seem to celebrate comes with a cost.
Our frenzied lifestyles, Dickerson says, are “costly to us as individuals, destructive of our relationships with God and one another, and damaging to the earth on which we live.”
The article points out that frenzied lives create frenzied relationships and a frenzied cycle of work-consume-spend-consume-work-consume (and so on). This is not healthy. We need a way to slow down, and God’s given it to us.
Dickerson urges us to rest because it’s part of God’s plan for us.
The culmination of work, he says, is rest, pointing readers to another High Calling article about rest by Steven Purcell entitled “Rest Lies at the Heart of a Blessed Creation.” That article concludes:
Rest is God’s way of equipping us for the work that [God] has given us to do.
Rest and retreat are not only for those with a predisposition to quiet reflection—introverts, journal-keepers, and pensioners. Sabbath-keeping is the primary way men and women created in God’s image remember that our work is not about us … By responding to God’s instruction to observe periods of rest—every day, once a week, or on retreats—we participate in God’s intention to bestow his Shalom on all creation, which of course will deeply influence our personal lives and relationships. (Purcell)
Frenzied lifestyles cannot be sustained over the long haul without ill effects. We need a prescription for the symptoms we develop, and this article claims that God’s prescription is rest.
Dickerson poses a few questions for reflection, including these that I thought would be helpful to pose to Not So Fast readers, as well:
- Think about your struggle with the disease of frenzy. What specific symptoms have you experienced?
- When do you rest? What temptations prevent you from resting?