What do you think of when you hear the word “relentless”? Do you think of the athlete training and competing with everything they’ve got in order to win the prize? Or do you think of a slavedriver or taskmaster constantly pushing those they are in charge of to work until they drop? Or maybe you think of the movie hero fighting opponent after opponent until they save the day? Whatever it is that you think of when you hear the term “relentless”, it’s probably not rest, and yet without rest there is no way we can be relentless. Last week on the blog we looked at how being relentless was a key attitude to have to pursue your purpose, today we’ll do a quick recap of why we should be relentless and then look at how rest helps us do this.
When we make a decision to find our purpose and live it out we are bound to face challenges. There are going to be people who say we shouldn’t do it, that we should just stay content with fitting into the box that society put us in and live there. There are also going to be people who oppose us because our purpose makes them uncomfortable or challenges them. There are going to be times where things don’t go right, people let us down, or we get tired or discouraged or lack motivation. Whatever the difficulties are, we will face them, and it’s in those times of difficulty that being relentless is critical. An attitude of relentless gives us the focus to push through because we see that these difficulties are just distractions from our end goal. Making the choice to be relentless helps us get out of bed on the hard days, to make the time to get something done in the midst of busyness, and to stay focussed on the task despite distractions and discouragement. We cannot successfully fulfil our purpose unless we are relentless in its pursuit.
So where does rest fit into that, if we’re being relentless doesn’t rest become redundant? Not at all, in fact when we are being relentless rest becomes critical. Unless we take rest we will burn out and never have the opportunity to complete the task we have been called to. You could say we need to be relentless in making the time to rest.
Let’s take a look at why rest is so important:
Rest allows us to be renewed. This is probably the most straightforward and obvious benefit of rest. If we never take the time to rest then at some point our minds and bodies will simply run out of the energy to continue which can often result in sickness which takes even longer to recover from. When we rest our bodies and minds have the opportunity to restore lost resources. During times of rest our energy is restored which gives us the ability to get going again.
Rest allows us to reflect. During the busyness of life a lot of things happen, both good and bad, and often because we are so busy we don’t get the opportunity to process these things. Making time to rest and reflect gives us the opportunity to look back on what has worked well and what hasn’t, or what we have done well and what we could have done better. Once we have done this reflecting we can apply what we have learned and move forward.
Rest allows us to reconnect. When times get busy it can be easy to lose connection with important relationships, whether that be friends, family or even our relationship with God. We can sacrifice time that we would normally give to these relationships in order to get things done. Having times of rest allows us to have quality time with friends and family without distractions, and it allows us to spend time in the Bible and in prayer in order to reconnect with God. Pursuing our purpose is not something we can do on our own, and those closest to us can be our greatest supports, so making time for these relationships is critical.
Rest allows us to refocus. Life is busy, there are a million things all demanding our attention at once and as much as it would be easier in a lot of ways if we could make our purpose the only thing we ever think about, that’s just not how it works. Whilst we are pursuing our purpose there are also other things we need to do each day, other things that will want us to make commitments and give time. Some of these things will be important and deserving of our time, others will be distractions that we can do without. When we make time to rest we allow ourselves the opportunity to work out which is which, and then get rid of the distractions so we can give our attention to what is important.
If we are to be relentless in pursuing our purpose, then we need to learn to make time for rest. Hebrews 12:1 says that in order to run our race we need to “throw off everything that hinders”, and taking time to rest gives us an opportunity to do that. Rest allows us to be renewed so we can throw off tiredness and fatigue. Rest allows us to reflect so we can throw off doubt and uncertainty about what has happened, learn our lessons and move on. Rest allows us to throw off disconnection from our friends, family and from God so that we can move forward with the support of those most important to us. And rest allows us to throw of distractions and move forward with focus. When we make the time to rest it gives us the ability to pursue our purpose relentlessly and achieve the amazing things we have been designed for.