Tonight was another night of only getting through half a chapter of The Rest of God before I was ready to put it down and absorb the material. Have you ever been reading a book and thought, “How did that author get inside my head? How did he know my thoughts and feelings?” I felt like that when I was reading. Buchanan pointed out that often what keeps us from rest is our own knowledge of our shortcomings. Even if we’re not over-the-top lazy or complete procrastinators or always letting people down, we’re (read I) am quick to spot where I could have worked harder, started a project earlier, crossed another t, dotted another i. Bottom line: I’m quick to think that maybe I shouldn’t rest because I don’t have a right to; I shouldn’t give myself time off because I’ve already wasted too many moments by mismanaging them. And, Buchanan says, it’s true. It’s most likely true that none of us really have a right to rest; we’ve fumbled the ball too often. But we don’t have a right to our health, family, or salvation either he points out.
Then he says: “But thank God that God could care less about our rights. What God cares about, and deeply, is our needs. And it’s this simple: you and I have an inescapable need for rest… The rest of God — the rest God gladly gives so that we might discover that part of God we’re missing — is not a reward for finishing. It’s not a bonus for work well done. It’s sheer gift. It is a stop-work order in the midst of work that’s never complete, never polished…It’s the rest we take…without apology, without guilt, and for no better reason than God told us we could.”
Thank God indeed that he cares about my needs and not my rights.