Did you know that muscle-building occurs not when you exercise a muscle group, but when you allow that muscle group to rest after being broken down during a workout? It’s true. Straining muscles through weightlifting, calisthenics, or cardiovascular routines causes muscles to become exhausted and weak. The muscle fibers are gently being torn apart. When you rest, it allows your muscles to reconstruct themselves even bigger and stronger than they were before. If you continually push your body to its limit with no rest, you are handicapping your progress.
It works the same way in the personal, social, and professional facets of our lives. We need to exercise those aspects through personal development, hobbies, social engagements, and new endeavors and projects, but our bodies and minds also need rest. Without it, the benefits of those activities can be lost, and it will all have been for naught.
Glen Lewerenz welcomed Jenni Thyng onto Morning Air to talk about this need for rest and finding the strength to let yourself relax when the world is telling you to go.
Jenni said that there are a few different reasons why rest is a valuable resource that we shouldn’t avoid embracing. Firstly, as mentioned before, rest allows us to soak up all the benefits of life without burning out. Secondly, we need rest to not only receive the best but also to give our best in every endeavor. We can’t perform at our peak if we’re artificially lowering our ceiling through irresponsible habits. Give yourself the best chance at success. And thirdly, there are things that are going to happen to us that we can’t plan on. When that happens, we want to have the energy, the enthusiasm, and the perseverance to do that well, too. If we aren’t rested, we can hardly count on succeeding.
“Physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion, emotional exhaustion? We’re human. It’s going to happen,” said Jenni. “So, get yourselves in the habit, which takes strength, [of resting]. Anytime we start a new habit, I looked this up online a while ago, it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a habit. So, if we want to intentionally rest, that takes strength to say, ‘I am going to rest.’”
Look back at scripture when Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about the Sabbath. He said that the Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath. He wants us to rest, and rest in Him.
As Jenni Thyng pointed out, we live in a “demand culture”. Professionals are demanded to constantly be on the move and looking to the future so that they can excel in their careers. People are shamed for taking time off, taking vacations, and enjoying leisure. Mothers and fathers are demanded to do it all in addition to being parents. Almost universally, people’s attention is being demanded by marketing and entertainment. Gone are the days when the television channels sign off at night. Forget cable; People can watch whatever they want at any point in the day or night, on demand.
That’s why it takes strength and self-control to put down the remote. Close the laptop, tell your coworkers goodbye, go home to your family. Take leisure time, spend time on your hobbies, go on a trip. Those projects can wait. Give your time to God, and go to sleep.
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