This week our family has been away. We’ve been up in the mountains, in cabins with sweeping views, stocked cupboards, good books, and no to-do lists.
And I’m experiencing that rest is good.
I have, in general, a love-hate relationship with rest. I’m not a workaholic, but wide stretches of time with nothing to do can sometimes depress me. This week, with “rest and enjoy the family and friends” on the to-do list, it’s good.
Rest is one of those things by which God intends for us to know God’s goodness. In contrast to the Mesopotamian creation stories in which humans are made to be slaves, in Genesis 1 humans are created to rule and then, it would seem, imitating God in the weekly action of rest.
In contrast to the slavery they endured under Pharaoh, God brought his people out, freed them so that they cold serve God–and rest.
And the vision of the future harbored by the writer of Hebrews is that there remains in the future ahead of us a sabbath rest that we will one day enter–eternity characterized by resting in and with our God.
And so, as dutiful followers of Jesus here and now, this rest is one part of our future identity that, I believe, we are called to grab hold of and bring to bear on the present. The calling to rest, and to extend rest to other, and be agents of those finding rest who otherwise would be worked to death, all of this is what it means to be a people awaiting the sabbath rest that remains for God’s people.
And so, as I take a break from my week of rest to run off and work for a little bit, I am reminded that rest is good, and am eager to return.