The Rest of God

A few days ago, I finished The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath.

A Canadian pastor named Mark Buchanan wrote it, and I really resonated with several quotes, so I thought I’d share some this week…

Concerning sabbatical: “I don’t deserve it.  It’s a pure gift, like being born in peacetime and not war, like being forgiven, or kissed, or told you have beautiful eyes.  I never earned a minute of it.  I don’t deserve a scrap of it.  But I feel deeply obliged to the people in my church who have allowed me it. Obliged, not to come back smarter, or thinner, or more eloquent, or more studied up, though all that could help.  The obligation I feel is not to pay them back.  These things don’t work that way, on some barter system where the church trades several months of leave in exchange for shorter, pithier sermons.  The obligation I feel, rather, is to come back restored.” (page 148)

“I want to return to my work slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to become angry. I want to hide more things in my heart and ponder them there. I want to return with a sharper instinct to pray, to watch and wait, and with less impulsiveness to act straightaway. I want a stronger conviction that, though God welcomes my honest efforts, he manages quite fine without my Peter-like outbursts of ill-conceived enthusiasm and then sudden loss of nerve, my opinion swapping and bully tactics, my reckless volunteerism to fix things for God and then desperate evacuation when things go wrong.” (page 153)

“To remember is, literally, to put broken pieces back together, to re-member. It is to create an original wholeness out of what has become scattered fragments… There is a terrible cost to our busyness. It erodes memory… busyness destroys the time we need to remember well. In the confusion, we forget who we are. The broken pieces remain strewn.” (page 196)

“The Swahili word for “white man” – mazungu – literally means “one who spins around.” That’s how East Africans see Westerners: turning ourselves dizzy, a great whirl of motion without direction. We’re flurries of going nowhere.” (page 196)