Recently, my wife and I were surprised with an amazing gift from my grandmother: a vacuum robot. If you aren't familiar with this type of robot, it's one that has become dramatically popular over the last 5 years as it drives around your house and vacuums the floor whenever you want it to.
This gift is such a blessing because it has been able to take care of a task that seemingly never ends and do it while we're gone or busy doing other things.
One day I was just sitting in awe of the technology that we're living in today and this robot got me thinking. As it was cleaning, I noticed that once it hit a certain level of battery life left that it stopped what it was doing and began to return home to it's charging port. (Also, another really cool thing, it charges itself!)
Since we've had this robot, it has never died in the middle of a room as it was cleaning. As soon as it does all that it can, it leaves just enough charge to be able to return to it's point of rest in order to recharge and do the same task again later.
We can learn a ton about rest from this small robot because so many of us are experiencing emotional burnout right now. Especially with the years we've had with 2020 and 2021, a lot of us are at a point emotionally and spiritually where we are just utterly exhausted.
May I encourage you today to rest? For so long, I've had a very toxic understanding of rest for my entire life believing in statements like "I'll rest when I die" or "rest is for the weak". What you may be surprised to hear is that even Jesus (God the Son) rested. In fact, He was very intentional about it. Even when it meant that He had to depart from crowds that gathered to see Him speak, Jesus always retreated to a quiet place in order to recharge and sabbath whenever He was emotionally and physically exhausted.
This certainly left a lot of people puzzled and even angry at Jesus. But other people's expectations of Him never drove Him into living a life of burnout. For so many in our world today, we have a flawed idea of rest being a means to an end rather than an integral part of our humanity. We think rest is a reward for working hard when in reality, the Bible tells us quite the opposite. God designed us for rest.
Organizational Psychologist Adam Grant recently said something along the same lines in a Facebook post that:
"Vacations shouldn't be earned. You don't only deserve to relax after you've worked hard. Time off isn't a trophy for burning out."
Pastor Rich Villodas also pointed out recently that:
"Sabbath is not a reward for hard work; it's a gift we receive. Humanity was created on the 6th day. Their first day was a day of rest. They lived from a place of rest."
Just like the vacuum robot only does what it is able to, may we also rejoice in our limitations. That might be a weird concept to grasp for you but honestly, rejoicing in our limitations allows us to worship in awe of the God who has none.
May we as limited humans understand our need for rest and instead of working until we're burnt out, may we work from our rest. You deserve to live a life that you don't have to escape from.
"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him." - Psalm 62:1