More Than Taking a Nap

I’m terrible at resting—and that’s gotta change. Lately, the Lord has been showing my busyness is a real problem in my life. I can’t Sabbath if I can’t slow down.

The reality is we often find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of activities, unable to pause, listen, and be present. As Christians, how can we navigate this landscape of constant busyness and cultivate a life of rest and margin? Let’s explore these questions.

Understanding the Value of Rest

The first step towards cultivating a life of rest is to understand its value. The Bible is rich with verses that emphasize the importance of rest.

In Exodus 20:8-10, God commands us to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, highlighting the importance of setting aside one day in seven for rest and worship.

In Mark 6:31, Jesus invites his disciples to come away by themselves to a desolate place and rest a while, recognizing the need for rest after periods of intense work and ministry.

These verses highlight that rest is not merely an optional extra in the Christian life, but a command and invitation from God Himself. Yet—many of us ignore resting.

Learning to Take Breaks

In our busyness, one practical way we can cultivate rest is by learning to take breaks. We often think of breaks as unproductive, but in reality, they can be a valuable use of our time.

Taking regular breaks can help us to recharge, refocus, and ultimately, be more productive in our work. Maybe that’s where the phrase “power nap” came from! Breaks can help us clear our minds and get back to what God has called us to do.

These breaks do not necessarily have to be long. They could be as simple as taking a few minutes to pray, meditating on a Bible verse, or enjoying a peaceful walk in nature (I did this just the other day it was the most refreshing time of prayer I’ve had in a while). The key is to intentionally set aside these moments of rest amidst our daily routines.

Cultivating Margin in Our Lives

In addition to taking breaks, another way we can cultivate rest is by allowing margin in our lives.

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the breathing room that allows us to respond to unexpected events and opportunities. It gives us the space to just be, to breathe, and enjoy life without pressure.

To cultivate margin, we could start by reassessing our schedules, evaluating our commitments, and learning to say no to activities that do not align with our priorities. This can be hard for many. I know it is for me.

By creating margin, we can ensure that our lives are not constantly filled to the brim, and we have the space to rest and recharge.

Embracing Rest as a Lifestyle

Cultivating a life of rest involves understanding its value, learning to take breaks, and allowing margin in our lives. As Christians, we are invited to embrace rest not just as an occasional retreat, but as a lifestyle that permeates our daily routines. Resting is needed. For all of us.

May we learn to slow down, listen, and be present, and in so doing, discover the rich blessings that come from obeying God’s command to rest.

Read more from Aaron Joseph Hall »

This article originally appeared on and is reposted here by permission.

Aaron Joseph Hall
Aaron Joseph Hall

Aaron Joseph Hall is the founder of Jesus Loving Forum, an online discussion forum for Christians everywhere to share, connect and grow in their faith online.