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 | By Adam Cross

New Year Rest-olutions

It's a New Year. Ready, set … rest. Wait, what? In the midst of resolutions and goals while living in a nonstop world, we have to remember that we are made for rest. Not just resting our bodies while scrolling, streaming or lounging, but real, lasting peace and rest in our lives.


First things first

But what is rest anyway? Rest isn’t just a thing we need when we’re tired, it's the foundation of our lives. For about eight hours a day, we are “unproductive” while we sleep. Even outside of sleep we hunger for rest, downtime and time to just “be.” If we don’t have it, our lives become stressful and burdensome. To live a good and balanced life we need to rest, which involves refreshing, re-energizing and reviewing what is going on in our lives. Rest is essential to live well.

In the beginning

In Genesis, we hear that rest isn’t just a good thing, it's the conclusion of God’s work. Genesis tells us that God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.” (2:2) But God doesn’t get tired, God doesn’t need rest. So why does God emphasize rest so much? God reminds us that we are called to stop, and just be. God rests because he is rest itself. God is being and he calls us to the Sabbath rest, where we are truly with him and share the peace he offers us.

Don’t do, just be

God wants to give us rest and he desires to pour out his peace into our lives at all times. God reminds us that we are called to stop and simply be with him as a loving Father. This is the foundation of true rest. We are made to be with God as his beloved sons and daughters. When we take time to intentionally do this, we find rest. So what does this look like? Here are a few tips to cultivate your rest as you begin this new year:

Become child-like again

As Jesus reminds us, we are called to look upon our lives with a child-like awe and wonder. We can ask God every day what he wants to speak to us as we go about our daily activities. We can intentionally and mindfully view all of God’s creation as a gift.

Pray unceasingly

We can invite God into schoolwork, sports, relationships and projects, and we can be open to what God wants to share with us through these areas of our lives. We can remember that God made us to use our bodies and our minds, and he made us for relationships. We can invite him into these areas because they are all a part of his design.

Time to ‘do’ nothing

We live in a busy, demanding world! We often need to safeguard our time to rest, whether that is sleep, quiet prayer, and yes, even lounging around. We need a balance with all that we do, and are called to intentionally plan time to rest and chill in our lives amid busy schedules.

Source and summit

Finally, we ultimately find rest in God through celebrating the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our faith where we become one with Christ. We find true rest and peace when we prioritize receiving Jesus in the Word and the Eucharist every week.

In this new year of resolutions, find time to just “be” with God. Rest doesn’t mean that our responsibilities or anxieties totally melt away, but it does mean that we can look at our lives with a childlike awe and wonder and spend real time with the Father in all that we do.

Adam Cross is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, and he worked as a youth minister at his local parish for 8 years. Adam loves to integrate the Catholic faith into his therapy practice.

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