guest: bonnie gray

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bonnie Gray, known around the interwebs as Faith Barista and @TheBonnieGray, has this delightful habit of writing things I would write in a completely different way than I would write it. We are often thinking the same thing at the same time, and where I engage in poetry and sometimes mysterious, emotional prose, Bonnie doesn't hesitate to just come out and say things. And she says them in a gentle, readable, encouraging fashion too!

A few months ago, I told her that I'd have to have her guest-post at my place, and here she is, my very first guest-post. When I asked her for a post, I gave her (and God) carte-blanche as to her topic, and when I read her post last night, I giggled my way through. What she and God came up with for me was indeed for me - and, I hope, for you too!

10 Ways to Make Rest One Ambition

by Bonnie Gray

"When you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
~ Victor Hugo
I was driving around with friends from out of town, when we got on the topic of stress increasing in a social media saturated lifestyle. On top of the dailiness of work, family and friends, some of us are trying to blog, tweet, Facebook, return email and phone calls.

I admitted that I had to cut down time on Twitter because "I just don't have the bandwidth."

My friends burst out laughing at my Silicon-Valley-ite terminology. No, my internet connection isn't slow or on the fritz. I was talking about personal margin, in my schedule and spiritual space.

In a social media age where it seems there's never enough time, how can we be "enough"?

Not Enough

One way the world tells us to deal with the stress of not-enough is: avoid it.

Two culprits in a recent article caught my eye:

The Computer

"Studies have indicated that when people are in front of a computer they often exhibit stress responses, such as increased breathing rates and tense arms and shoulders.

'Information overload is stressful and affects you physically'...


'Social networking, like any relationship, can have an impact on your emotions,'

... adding that online news bites can sometimes, inadvertently, make others feel inadequate.
The post offered some practical suggestions -- like turning off the computer and logging off Facebook.

As people of faith, our focus goes beyond avoiding stress.
We pursue the opposite. We can rest.

Rest As Ambition

Rest. Doesn't it sound so inactive?

I was surprised to find that rest is one of only three ambitions God explicitly calls out in the Bible. The other two being preaching the Gospel and pleasing God.
"... Excel still more andmake it your ambition to lead a quiet (restful) life..."
Thessalonians 4:11
The Greek word used for "quiet" is


to rest, cease from labor
to lead a quiet life, said of those who are not running hither and thither

Looking at this passage and the definition of rest, I came to some startling discoveries:

1. Resting is as important as preaching the Gospel and pleasing God.

2. The more I'm able to enjoy rest, the more others will see God's life (the Gospel) in me.

3. The less stressed I am, the more God smiles.

Ten Ways

I was so intrigued by the ambition to rest, I looked up verses in the Bible where rest was the root word. I found 10 ways To Make Rest An Ambition.

10 Ways To Make Rest An Ambition

1. Enjoy God in your new endeavors. That's what Moses insisted.

"And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." ~ God Ex. 33:14

2. Enjoy a weekly day off, remembering rest is companion to productive work.

"For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:10

3. Schedule in whitespace, to stop from daily routine, chill out... and eat.

"Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while."
(For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)
~ Jesus, Mark 6:31

4. Enjoy friendships where you can be your real self and laugh.

"Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord ; refresh (rest) my heart in Christ." ~ Paul, Philemon 1:20

5. Get together with a buddy and share the deep things going on in your life.

"I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed (rest) through you." ~ Paul, Philemon 1:7

6. Enjoy the outdoors, soaking up nature. It brings our bodies and senses to rest.

"The whole earth is at rest and is quiet ; They break forth into shouts of joy." Isaiah 14:7

7. Enjoy sleep. It's a luxury that burning the candle at both ends fails to afford.

"He enters into peace; They rest in their beds, Each one who walked in his upright way." Isaiah 57:2

8. Choose to make decisions by goodness rather than fear of the bad. Trust God to guide you with the outcome.

"Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls." ~ God, Jer. 6:16

9. Enjoy God's forgiveness. Keeping a short account with Him energizes.

"Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. " Isaiah 30:15

10. Make time to spend with Jesus. Rest isn't something we can create. It is a gift Jesus gives.]

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." ~Jesus, Matt.11:28

Last, but not least, I have one final rest inducing tip to add. It's not in the Bible, but I think it's still a good one.

Brew a daily cup of coffee or tea. Sip slowly. Enjoy.

What's getting in the way of rest for you?

How do you best fuel an ambition to lead a restful life?

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a timely message!! As we see the Post Modern Generation evolving "Rest as an Ambition" needs to be stressed.

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