Tomorrow, June 11, my church family will get the opportunity to learn about “The Art of Rest” from Adam Mabry, the pastor of Alethia Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and the author of a book by the same name. Adam has learned some important lessons about rest and sabbath-keeping through his experience as a pastor, as a church planter—and as a human being who lives in a very busy part of the country—and he’ll be sharing those lessons in a workshop on Saturday morning – and then again in the message that he’ll share with my church family in worship on Sunday morning.
In his book, The Art of Rest, Adam writes: “We don’t have to wait until the work is done to rest with God. Our personal sense of accomplishment isn’t what we bring to God; it’s what we’re meant to get from him…Your sense of security and accomplishment is not the ticket you must present to God in order to relate to him. Relationship is the gift he wishes to present to you, to be enjoyed regularly as you simply come to him.”
Like most of those who read this post, that’s a statement that I know to be true. And yet, it’s a reality that I struggle to embrace in practice. So much of our culture—and even our church culture—turns on the idea that our worth is based on how much we do and produce. And so, it becomes a challenging act of faith to trust that God’s welcoming love depends not on what we do for Him but on what Jesus has done for us.
I wish that I could be there to hear Adam this weekend. But I’m grateful that I’ve been given the grace-gift of this sabbatical, which is reminding me that rest isn’t a reward to be earned but a gift to be received. If you happen to be in Mount Airy this weekend, I encourage you to stop by Calvary Baptist Church and learn the lessons that Adam will be sharing.