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Rest Awhile By Ed McDowell

A Sacred Invitation to Rest

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

Mark 6:31 NLT

Sometimes life becomes so full for leaders that there isn’t even time to eat, let alone rest.  The people keep coming. The needs of others are always in front of us.  The opportunity to make a difference in lives is right there and right now. 

Jesus recognized the truth of constant demand. It will wear you out!  Jesus told those with him, let’s step away from this constant demand.  All of us need a quiet place, some rest, and food. 

Let’s take a break. 

Reflection

In seasons of high demand, the temptation is to work around the clock to take advantage of the season. After all, people are here right now, wanting what we do. We shouldn’t waste the opportunity, not even for a minute. Right?  Wrong! 

There is a direct connection between rest and the quality of one’s contribution. When a quiet place, food, and rest are consistently ignored, the ability to be of help and value to others diminishes.

I think of all my friends and colleagues in Christian Camping.  I have participated in and seen people saying, “There is no time for rest; the opportunity is now.”  I have also experienced the faultiness of this attitude. 

During the height of the pandemic, a food bank adopted the slogan: “We never stop.”  In visiting with the CEO of this amazing organization, to her surprise, some of the staff felt like “they couldn’t stop to rest.”  This is not what the slogan intended to communicate, but it created a challenging situation where the CEO was now focused on infusing the team with some needed rest.

The leadership team of Warm Beach Camp Ministries, where I serve as CEO, went through some life coaching to experience greater abundance in all areas of life. A key to a life of greater contribution was developing patterns of rest every day, no matter how demanding. This was so helpful to us as a team and has begun to shape some important changes in our overall ministry culture.

Encouragement

Jesus encourages rest.  He encourages it in times when there is so much demand and opportunity.  While seasons of rest for days and weeks at a time are essential, don’t overlook the power of “resting awhile” today.  Find a quiet place for 30-60 minutes. Bring some food. Ask the Lord to bring rest.

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for Your invitation to “rest awhile” when there are so many unmet needs.  Thank You for being an example of this.  Help us to intentionally step away to a quiet place for times of food, rest, and renewal. In Your name Jesus, we pray,

Amen

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Ed McDowell is the CEO of Warm Beach Camp. He has extensive experience overseeing and directing ministry organizations, including stewardship development, personnel, and organizational management.


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