Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Margin- Chapter 14

A few friends and I are reading this book together. Each week we are reading one chapter. On Fridays, I am posting my comments, then giving them the opportunity to add their thoughts as well. If you would like to join us or simply find out more about the book, you can read about it here.)

Chapter 14: "Heath Through Rest"

- An earlier chapter discussed the need for margin in our physical strength.  The present chapter focuses on the need for physical, emotional and spiritual rest.

- "We have leisure but little rest."  (Page 194)  He is right.  Most of our "leisure" is so distracted that it is not truly refreshing.  We have so many things that can entertain us that we gravitate towards them.  Unfortunately the rest that they present is lacking.  "People in the Western world have leisure.  We do not need to slave every minute in order to eat.  But only a few appear to have rest." (Page 197)

- "There is no glory in rest."  (Page 195)  When have you heard a preacher praised because he disciplined himself to have periods of rest in his life?  I think rest can be like taking the time to sharpen the ax instead of continuing to chop when the blade is getting dull.

- In resting our emotions, he challenges us to seek out quiet.  I see in my own life where my emotions are worn and I need recharged.  Yet, other than this seeking out quiet, I feel lost as to the practical ideas of how to rest emotionally.  With physical rest, it is much easier for me to see what to do to repair my worn down body.  Do any of you have any insight into resting emotionally?

- Familial relationships are fractured at best in America.  I think it will be a challenge for us all of our lives to not let cultural norms shape our expectations of how familial relationships should be.  It seems that deep relationships can be a balm for emotional healing, but if we are not working at those relationships, there will be no help for the ailment.

- Do any of you try to incorporate a type of "Sabbath?"  If so, what do you do?  For awhile, Viola and I have been trying to make it a habit to do no extra work on Sundays.  Yes, she cooks, and I may do a few odds and ends, but we don't allow ourselves to do homework, extra language study, etc.  It is a little thing, but it is helping us shape a time of relaxation and an atmosphere for potential spiritual rest.

I've had my say, what say you?

Discussion on Chapter 13
Discussion on Chapter 15

1 comment:

  1. -I'll start with my chuckle of agreement on a statement the author made regarding places in the world that move at a slower pace than in the States. "No one seems in a hurry (except, that is, when they drive)" (pg. 194). Another missionary here in Moldova made that same comment to me shortly after we arrived in Moldova, and I've found that to be very true.

    -The comments on rest vs. leisure made me think of the different opinions that my mother and I have regarding a vacation. Her idea is to do, do, do, but ours is to have more resting and relaxing.

    -"There is no glory in rest" (pg. 195). A very true statement. This parallels the Sabbath we have through Christ. By faith we enter into this rest. We are not saved through a work, but a resting in Christ's work. Jacob, nor have I ever heard of a preacher praised publically for his wise use of rest.

    -Gordon MacDonald was quoted on page 197 of saying, "We do not rest because our work is done; we rest because God commanded it and created us to have a need for it." This was a helpful reminder for me. I tend to use the excuse of staying up late working on things and such due to things just not getting done. The fact is, there will always be work to do. But, as Jacob so aptly stated with the axe illustration, our ability to do that work diminishes when we have not rested.

    -Jacob, regarding emotional rest, I believe that there are a couple different ideas that have helped me to recharge emotionally. They all surround the idea of "unplugging" from life. This can be done physically by getting away from the environments that are causing stress and fatigue. This is a big reason why we choose to get out of town each year for vacation. I cannot unplug from work and concerns very easily while still at home and surrounded by the work. There have been times when I've had a special place to where I retreated for some quiet time, be it a mere 15 minutes or so. Not only does a physical environment help me unplug, but a spiritual environment does, too. This could be a conference, Christian camp, or a set time of extra Bible reading and prayer. These are great times of letting God heal emotions and bring calmness of heart and mind. The third way I personally find emotional rest is through social environments. Not all people feel recharged after being with a fellowship or spending an extended time with friends, but I sure do (as long as it was without conflicts). All of these create a distraction to unplug my mind and emotions from whatever is going on. During that time, I can better evaluate things and re-affirm my trust and peace in the Lord. Just some thoughts.

    -On page 199, the author had some great points regarding noise and the value of quietness.

    -I can't say that we have any consistent Sabbath principles, so I can't help give any input on our end. Some Sundays are very busy and others are more restful.