I resisted the Enneagram for several years. But when I gave in, I gave in hard. I bought the book, downloaded the podcast, and took the test. Turns out, I’m a one. Not the kind of one that needs an immaculate house and a perfectly ironed shirt — more like the kind who thinks there’s something deeply wrong with the world that needs to be reformed. I used to think I was just an idealist. I have a strong sense of right and wrong and an even stronger sense that everything “should be” right. So, when my Enneagram assessment said I probably had a difficult time taking it easy and letting my hair down, it felt like someone was reading my diary.
Resting is hard for me. I find my mind continually critiquing the world and thinking through ways to make it better. And while that may sound noble at first, I think it’s ultimately self-defeating. You see, if I don’t take time to enjoy the world that God is renewing, I will eventually forget what kind of reform I’m pursuing in the first place. Rest is the act of enjoying God in the world, and we can rest in a variety of ways: savoring a delicious meal, reading a good book, or pursuing a hobby we enjoy. These are the kinds of things that make life worth living. God didn’t create us for a miserable existence. He is good, kind, and generous. He is also abundant. If we have eyes to see them, we can find all of these qualities reflected in Creation.
Here’s the problem. Sometimes we can allow the needs of our world to consume us so deeply that we forget the very thing that allowed us to see the pain. You can’t recognize poverty if you’ve never seen wealth. You don’t know what tastes bitter if you’ve never tasted something sweet. You can’t recognize injustice until you’ve observed justice. My heart breaks for the world, because I’ve seen a vision of the Kingdom. I’ve seen it in God’s Word, I’ve tasted it through God’s Church, and therefore, I see its absence in so much of the world. And it just kills me. That’s what led my heart into God’s mission to begin with. I imagine your story is similar. At some point, you caught God’s vision for the future, and it led you to share the hope of the Gospel with those around you. If that’s what initiated your participation in God’s mission, what sustains it?
That’s right. Rest.
If you’re anything like me, you probably find it easy to become consumed with the needs of our world. That’s why it’s so crucial to take time to enjoy God through His creation. Experiencing the bounty of His goodness helps remind us what we’re leading people toward. Enjoying a good meal. Watching a funny movie. Discovering a hobby. Falling in love (or not…whatever). Embracing life, however you choose to do it.
God created this world out of the abundance of His goodness. So, enjoy all that is good within it. Allow that to be your guide, reminding you where you’re leading people as you serve them. There is a reason to serve the vulnerable, the hopeless, and the marginalized — God is renewing all things. Let’s get in on that. And as we do, may our enjoyment of God’s goodness overflow in mercy towards our neighbors and cause us to invite them into the gift of eternal life that we’ve been given in Christ.