The Rest of God

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This book seeks to create in us the compelling need to stop our busyness by taking regular breaks. Buchanan contends that a persons very health depends upon adherence to this ancient practice known as Sabbath rest. It’s a simple read, with a simple point, but it comes with bucket loads of quote worthy material some of which is listed below. I loved this book, it is wholly appropriate for anyone who is distracted, busy and stuck in the rat race.

Sabbath rest knows that silence is golden

  • Some knowing is never pursued, only received. And for that, you need to be still.
  • Silence is the condition for true listening.

Sabbath rest is a habitual practice (liturgy) 

  • At its best, liturgy comprises the gestures by which we honour transcendent reality, it helps us give concrete expression to deepest convictions. It gives us choreography for things unseen and allows us to breach heaven among the shades of earth.

Sabbath rest is about paying attention

  • Indeed, this is the essence of a Sabbath heart: paying attention. It is being fully present, wholly awake, in each moment. Louis Aggasiz, Harvard’s renowned biologist, returned one September to his classroom and announced to his students that he had spent the summer traveling, he had managed, he said, to get halfway across his backyard. To those with eyes to see, that’s enough. Everywhere we turn, wonders never cease.
  • Drivenness erodes purposefulness…The truly purposeful have an ironic secret: they manage time less and pay attention more.
  • “My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted” Henri Nouwen said near the end of his life, “Until I discovered the interruptions were my work”…Purposefulness requires paying attention, and paying attention means — almost by definition — that we make room for surprise…we become hospitable to interruption.

Sabbath rest rejects the task master of time and embraces wonder and delight

  • Unless we receive time as abundance and gift, not as ration and burden, we’ll never develop a capacity to savour Sabbath.
  • Those calm, unhurried people who live in each moment fully, savouring simple things, celebrating small epiphanies, unafraid of life’s inevitable surprises and reverses, adaptive to change yet not chasing after it.
  • Those who treat time as gift and not possession — have time in abundance. Contra wise, those who guard every minute, resent every interruption, ration every moment, never have enough.
  • The oughts go into the salt mine and you go out dancing.
  • Its the one day when the only thing you must do is to not do the things you must!
  • You get to willfully ignore the many niggling things your existence genuinely depends on!
  • toss away the “have to’s” and lay hold of the “get to’s”
  • If it smells like an ought, don’t. 
  • So I submit this as Sabbath’s golden rule: Cease from what is necessary. Embrace that which gives life. And then do whatever you want.
  • They dance in a woods unwatched by Chronos. The Sabbath is a kingdom where Chronos and utility are not welcome.
  • When we really believe that we have no time to waste — no time simply to enjoy without excuse or guilt, without having to show anything for it — then the cult of utility is utterly ascendant. It has vanquished all rivals.
  • Philipp Melanchthon turned to Martin Luther and announced, “Today you and I shall discuss the governance of the universe.” Luther looked at Melanchthon and said “No. Today, you and I shall go fishing and leave the governance of the universe to God.”
  • The Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for busyness: heart and killing — the busy life murders our hearts.
  • This is one of Sabbath’s gifts, to relax without guilt.

Sabbath rest’s central quality is thankfulness 

  • Thankfulness is a secret passageway into a room you can’t find any other way. It is the wardrobe into Narnia. It allows us to discover the rest of God.

Sabbath rest looks both backward and forward

  • Take anything you delight in here on earth: Your children, Your craftwork, Your hot tub. The dewed green of a fairway on a July morning. The set corn from your garden, butter drenches. Enjoy them all. Find rest in them. But imagine how much more awaits you.
  • Busyness destroys the time we need to remember well.
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About Dennis Arve Wilkinson

Happily married, blessed with four children, thrilled to have started Meta Communities in 2011. Born in Calgary, raised in Winnipeg, undergraduate education in Wisconsin (NIU) & Seminary education in Minnesota (CBTS). During my time in the Midwest I gained about a dozen years of pastoral experience. It has been my privilege to travel to many parts of the globe and divine providence has smiled on me by allowing me to be mentored by several men of great character over the course of my life time. I am a follower of Jesus - though not without struggle. I am committed to joining God in the restoration of all things by telling, showing, and welcoming people into the good news of God's story. God's story of redemption in Jesus is the best story the human has -- I am letting the better story shape my life and helping others do the same.

Posted on October 18, 2017, in Wrestling with Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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