Why you Need to Rest

Tomorrow, I board a plane to Cancun, Mexico for a seven day vacation with my wife. A very generous Help One Now friend and one of our church partners fully paid for the trip and we are very thankful. They wanted to invest in our marriage and ensure we are resting well.

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Took this iPhone pic last week in Haiti

Needless to say, we are humbled and grateful. The past 4 years, we’ve been running hard trying to make the world a little better. It’s been years since we have we taken a full week to stop, pause and rest. But, that is changing and my overall attitude about rest is also changing.

The Need to Rest

I’ve done a poor job of “resting.” I hate sleep, I’m not a fan of being still and I’m semi-addicted to work. I’ve spent a lot more time as of late trying to reflect on my life and future and I’m asking myself what pivots do I need to make in order to sustain the pace of life, love my family and be a good friend.

Here’s 7 Observations

1) Rest is Biblical. Jesus rested and so should we. Really, he laid out an example of what it means to live, lead and last long term.

2) I’m not the Savior — Jesus is . When I rest, I’m admitting that I’m not in charge or that important.

3) Rest helps me be MORE productive. We all have seasons where life’s pace is fast and furious, but we must always come back to a place of rest and rhythm. A rested mind = more productivity.

4) Rest helps me be MORE creative. Actually, a lot of creativity comes with stillness and being borderline bored. You have to slow your mind down enough to allow new creativity to emerge.

5) Rest helps me lead better. I lead myself, my family, my team more wholly when I am rested. A few months ago I made a STUPID mistake and got mad at one of our leaders in Haiti. I was so exhausted and tired that I just made a lame comment and it caused months of agony. Rest helps us avoid being stupid and making bad decisions.

6) Rest ensures us that we can be “in the game” long term. If I burn out, I will hurt a lot of people along the way. Rest is the ingredient that helps us all last and run the race to the end.

7) Rest is fun. I mean, my family and friends will never care about my job or success as much as they care about me being present with them. I firmly believe that God created us to have fun and to enjoy life. We work hard, we play hard, we rest hard.

What Are You Scared Of?

I’ve come to realize that I choose not to rest when I’m scared. Fear drives me to make poor choices, ignore wisdom and it creates a sense of arrogance, as if I can defy the reality that humans need to rest and recoup.

I tell myself that I can’t rest, or else I will fail and lose control of certain outcomes and targets at which I’m aiming. But, it’s all a lie and if you listen to the lie, it will consume you. You will hit a brick wall and cause terrible damage to yourself, your loved ones, your team and your dreams.

Go now and rest

If you feel like you’re on the edge of burnout, STOP what you are doing, pick up a pen and write down some action steps. HOW will you listen to your body and create change that is necessary? Some possible outcomes:

1) Schedule a day off, like right now.
2) Plan a weekend getaway or a staycation.
3) Create a weekly sabbath.
4) Call some friends and ask for help and accountability.
5) Plan a vacation.

Remember, I’m rooting for you. We need you in the game long term. Short-term success means little in life. Work hard, play hard and rest hard.

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About The Author

I’m the Founder/CEO of Help One Now. I live in downtown Raleigh with my family. I’m a justice advocate, who loves empowering leaders (and tribes) to launch movements for doing good.

Would love to connect on Twitter or Facebook. Check out my monthly newsletter. Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail.

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