You love a good hammock. Don’t even tell me you don’t.

image credit: me, in my backyard

Everyone loves a hammock. And I know why.

It’s reminiscent of a bygone era. One that was slower. And more relaxed. One that didn’t include 80 hour work weeks. One that didn’t include 4 nights of gymnastics/week. One that didn’t include having to eat fast food so many times.

One that didn’t have to fire up your computer late at night to catch up on emails. One that wasn’t conflicted between playing with your kids and doing work.

One that did include family nights. And laughing together over a freshly brewed pot of coffee.

One that included reading a book by a crackling, warm fire.

One that was much more relaxing.

A hammock beckons us to what could be.

The hammock has two purposes:

1. Cradle you like a baby.

2. Fling you to the ground if you try to not be cradled like a baby.

 In a hammock, you can’t do much but relax. You may be able to read a book. Or take a nap.

But squirm much, and you’ll flop right to the ground. Twist a little more than the traditional “nap” position and the hammock won’t take it. It’ll spin you right on to the hard ground below. “No!” says the hammock. “That meeting can wait!” “That email will still be there in 30 minutes!” “That YouTube video is hilarious…but I’ll break your iPad if you try to watch it right now.”

A hammock reminds us

Of our God-given desire for rest. Fight against it all you want, but given the chance, I’m certain you’d love a good nap right now.

Of our God-given need for rest. Studies show that adequate amounts of sleep are vital for productivity. God created the Sabbath, the day of rest,  for our benefit. (see Mark 2:27)

Of our flesh-given desire to find our identity in our work. Please, please don’t find your identity in your work. Your identity will be smashed to pieces when you rest it in your work. Choosing to intentionally rest is a way to fight against pride, which says that success lies in your abilities alone.

Of our flesh-given desire to seek God’s approval through our work. When you rest, what claim can you make in your “works”? None. God calls us to rest from the rat race of using “works” to justify approval. In Christ, we’re called “sons.” Rest in that.

You need rest. I need rest.

And we’re all better off if we take time to intentionally rest. Rest from your work. Rest from your emails. Rest from your frenetic life. Rest from earning your relationship with God.

So come on over to my backyard and kick up your feet on my hammock. I promise I won’t bother you.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11