A Season Of Rest: Learning How To Rest Rigorously

It’s taken me 6 weeks to find the time to sit in my new bedroom chair, but today was that day.

I had encountered a season of rest.

With feet up and windows open, the breeze and sound of rain filtering through the curtains, I opened the pages of a magazine that I’ve been wanting to read for ages.

Ironically, the first article was entitled “Rest”.



Instantly, I was overcome by the words I read:


“Where God was leading His people FROM is just as important as where God was leading them TO.

He took them to the road that led to the Promised Land after he led them out of bondage in Egypt.

What was their bondage?

It was work, toil, the inability to rest, and the enslavement to a kingdom that was not God’s.” (Mary Gallagher)


In Jacob 7:18, Sherem, an anti-Christ, is smitten of God and confesses to having been deceived.

In Galatians 3:1, the Apostle Paul refers to being deceived as being “bewitched”.

“Oh foolish [people], who hath bewitched you…?”

I fear society has bewitched us into believing that our success, our value, our salvation will come through the busyness of our schedules.



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“We will do it all!” is our battle cry as we rush out into the world, desperate and determined, only to return home at the end of each day downhearted and defeated, for the busyness of the world will never be able to supply our souls with that which they most need—rest.

When our schedules consume us, we die to the things of the Spirit.


“Yes, we work, and we work hard because we love our families and we love to serve, but what if we rested as hard as we work?” (Mary Gallagher)


It’s been said that the number seven, which scripture uses to mark both the Sabbath Day and Sabbath Year, is “associated with a counter-cultural slowing and a rigorous form of resting.” (Alicia Britt Chole)

A rigorous form of resting.

It sounds like an oxymoron, and it is because it is counter-cultural.



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What does it mean to rest rigorously? I ask myself, as I gaze out the window at the trees swaying softly in the breeze, their leaves covered with dewy raindrops.

And I think I begin to understand.

Yes, rigorous resting involves Sabbath Day rest and worship, but perhaps it also includes moments in our every day lives—moments when we choose to pause long enough to sit in our bedroom chairs, to read an uplifting article, to gaze out the window as we reflect on what matters most.



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“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)


Perhaps today, while the world is at a standstill, is the perfect time to practice rigorous resting.

For “the world needs believers who are healthy and rested, to point to the Living Water and the Bread of Life.” (Mary Gallagher)



DISCUSSION: How can you bring a season of rest into your everyday life?



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  • Lindsay Madsen

    Love this! In this day in age, rest is definitely needed for all! Even if it is enjoying your outside view from your window. And you might not get the kind of rest you might expect. In our homeschool, we have been reading about early bible times and are reading through the book “Celebrating Biblical Feasts in Your Home or Church” by Martha Zimmerman. One of the feasts we did was a traditional sabbath day. It was very eye-opening and enjoyable. It was definitely a little stressful preparing a meal on Saturday and getting all the work done to try and do nothing on Sunday, I mean, we are ALWAYS busy now even on the sabbath. I did not succeed in my mission to get all my work done before the sabbath. But for the feast, so much thought and prayers that went into everything. Such as, when you are folding the sabbath bread dough you should be thinking and praying for your family, lighting each candle had a specific meaning, and the father goes around the table giving each family member a special blessing. I am not Jewish, but it was a really special experience and made me think of rest differently.

    • Down Aspen Lane

      Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Lindsay! I love earning about the Jewish religion. So many of the details you talked about are included in this short 35-minute documentary on Israel. My kids and I watched it today and LOVED it. If you haven’t yet seen it, I highly recommend it!


  • Jennifer Thomas

    LOVE this so much! I agree, we are such a busy society that no one slows down for anything. We try to live a bit slower paced life, but I feel like we are constantly judge for not “doing” as much as others. I don’t think we find worth or value in a worn out, full, busy schedule. I think its sad how many people are really struggling with being at home with their family. My prayer is that more parents would take delight in spending time with their children!

    • Down Aspen Lane

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m LOVING this period of rest…at home with my children. 🙂

  • Lynn

    Feeling like we are forced into resting a little bit right now which is probably good! I wish my kids would rest too!

  • Madi Rowan

    Such an interesting perspective! I think this time of social distancing is really allowing a lot of us to take time for some much needed rest, as I know we all need. Life gets so busy & many of us don’t make time to rest & reflect about what is going on in our lives!

  • Chelsae

    I have never been one to rest, let alone rest rigorously. This season of life is definitely allowing me to take a step back and get the rest I have needed.

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