What a year! I say that with both excitement and with awe. In March, Gem and I launched a new non-profit. It hadn’t been in our long-term plans, but there we were. There have been places of hard, good work and some places where we enjoyed the gift of rest.
I had been struggling to make progress on the first draft of my next book, An Unhurried Leader: The Lasting Fruit of Daily Influence (scheduled for release May 2017). Now, with this new and fresh home for our ministry, I made rapid progress and completed the draft in just a few weeks.
As I look back from the perspective of December, it’s been a year of reflecting on decades of ministry at the intersection of spiritual formation and leadership. I’ve learned a lot from treasured mentors and friends.
A Simple Vision
Gem and I came to summarize the dynamics of this unhurried way of living with three simple phrases:
What in the world does all that mean? How in the world can a tagline for an organization focused on leadership start with the word “rest”? Let me try to unpack that a little.
By rest I don’t mean give up on good work. I don’t mean put less in your calendar or less on your task list. I don’t actually mean work less.
Rest, Then Work
In my book, An Unhurried Life chapter 6, “Rest: The Rhythm of Creation,” I work hard to unpack exactly why I think the order of creation is “rest/work” rather than “work/rest.” In other words, I think good work grows in the soil of good rest, rather than rest being the place we collapse when we can’t crank out any more work.
When I think of “resting,” I’m often thinking of Jesus’ language of “abiding” like a branch does in a vine (John 15). I think resting is learning to be at home in Jesus wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. Rest is peace in the place of anxiety. It’s courage in the face of fear. It’s security in the face of self-doubt.
So, when we launched Unhurried Living, our very first project was to develop an online course that would be available to people around the world, that would be portable and easily accessed online, and would help people cultivate this kind of holy rest as a fruitful foundation for our work.
That course is titled, Influence from the Inside Out. Many of you have already taken advantage of this resource since we released it in August.
But if you haven’t already, we’d love to have you join so many others who have already done so. Once you buy the course, you’ll have access to it forever and can take it at whatever pace works for you.
If you click on this link, you’ll get a 27% discount on the registration cost. What I share in the course is much what I’ve learned about this rhythm of work and rest I talk about in my book.
Meanwhile, I pray that you’ll sense the holy invitation of Jesus’ pace of grace in this often busy holiday season. Slow down and enjoy.