I don’t know about you but I find it difficult to rest even though that is what we are called to do as followers of Jesus. After all, He did say, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
We are also instructed in Hebrews 4:11 to ‘labour to enter into God’s rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief’ (of the Israelites in the desert). As far as I have read, this is the only time we are instructed to ‘labour’. Why? I believe because it goes directly against the human spirit to rest from our own labours. We are doers. We take care of ourselves because no one else will. We’ve been taught to ‘make something of ourselves’ and live a successful life. None of this sounds like resting to me.
Even the directive to ‘labour to enter into rest’ sounds like work – because it is! It is harder to rest in God and His promises regarding whatever it is we are going through than it is to ‘get up’ and ‘get going’. It also sounds a little irresponsible to rest when there is so much to do AND if we’ve personally made a mess of things.
I was the worst at resting. I am an A personality, an 8 on the Enneagram and my name has not one, but 2, A’s. According to The Secret Universe of Names – a great book for your coffee table – 2 A’s means trouble.
My non-resting has gotten me in a lot of trouble, too. I’ve rushed ahead with things (some call that erratic, irresponsible, or compulsive) without thinking things through. I’ve spent money on things without really counting the cost – until later. I was not a good rester until….I was knocked face down and couldn’t do anything for a whole month – Dr’s orders. My retina detached, I was rushed into emergency for surgery and then had to lay face down for 24 hours and then basically do nothing for a month while my eye healed. The amazing end of the story is I can still see physically and have much better spiritual eyesight now!
I literally had nothing to do for a whole month but pray, rest and listen to audio books. I was forced to rest….and turned out to be extremely blessed. God knows what He is doing and when He tells us to do something, it is for our own good.
The great thing about rest for an author is that is when you can hear what God is telling you much better than if you are busy running around or wracking your brain to find something to write. If you would just stop, rest, be quiet and listen, you WILL hear that still, small voice that you can only hear when you are quiet.
One of the books I recommend everyone to read is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is not a Christian book but she has some really great principles and processes that have had an amazing affect on many authors. Julia swears by her ‘morning papers’. I do, too. I call it my journal and I spend time in the Word along with my journalling but the process is the same and it is powerful.
If you really want to grow as an author, you have to listen to the Author. Take the time to rest, listen and write.