We live in the age of the “entrepreneur.” I end up getting followed and unfollowed and then refollowed by account after account that claim themselves as an entrepreneur who’s dedicated to hustle. And whether it’s someone who fancies themselves a real estate guru or someone who sells the latest beauty products or you name it, inevitably they have the same theme. Hustle is how you become your own boss, make tons of money and drive a soft pink Cadillac. It’s all about the hustle.
And our culture glorifies that. Our culture celebrates people who are willing to put in the time and hard work to gain. Honestly, I fell into that culture for a long time and thought that was the key to “making it.” I still have to battle against that temptation to work nine to nine and respond to every email that comes in regardless of time. But over the past year or so, I’ve learned that’s not the key. Yes, it might win you some points quickly, but those points will mean nothing down the road.
Going fast is great if you’re planning on only running a short distance, but if you’re planning to create a lasting career, you need to put some rest into your rhythm.
Rest might seem counter-cultural, but that’s not new for those of us that are Christians. Many of the things that we do are counter-cultural, but for some reason, the command from God to rest is one that we’ve brushed to the side and let our world dictate for us. We of course all know that God rested on the seventh day and commanded us to have a Sabbath. That day is designed for us, for our own good. God knew that we couldn’t run constantly without a break. He knew that we needed rest. And he also knew that we probably wouldn’t be interested in taking a break, so he commanded rest. If He thought this was easy for us, He would’ve just suggested it rather than making it one of the ten pillars that the Jewish culture lived on as the most important rules.
But God didn’t just command us to take a day a week to stop working and relax. He also gave us spiritual disciplines that require rest. For me personally, and probably for many of you, we know the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, reading our Bible and fellowship. We like those because those are things we can do. Those are things we can engage in and feel like we’re making progress. But a couple of weeks ago, my pastor, Kevin Queen, challenged our staff to take a look at some other spiritual disciplines. Things like silence, solitude, fasting and giving. He called these spiritual practices of abstinence. And one of the things that they all have in common is the idea of stopping. Fasting calls us to stop eating to focus on God. Giving calls us to stop trying to earn to honor God with our finances. Silence and solitude are probably the hardest for me, though. Those are probably the hardest for the hustle culture to deal with, too. Those two practices are counter to the hustle culture, and I think that makes them extra important.
How often are you stopping your routine and hustle to hear from God?
When you go to spend time with God, are you just telling Him the things that are going on in your life and asking for help with those? Even when we spend time with God, our prayers are often us just talking to God, continuing the “hustle” almost. Continuing our busyness and trying to get things done. However, what if instead you talked with God? What if you actually stopped, took a deep breath, and tried to hear what God might be saying back to you? If you actually stop, clear your mind and let God guide your thoughts, you might be surprised where you end up. Maybe you aren’t, in fact, supposed to be running a million miles an hour towards what you think is success and happiness.
Maybe God just needs you to stop and listen, so He can show a new direction or at least a more calm one.
God is always at work in our lives, I have no doubt about that. But he’s also aware of how we’ve fallen in love with being busy, so to show Him the importance He has in our lives by actually stopping to seek His presence could be one of the most powerful things you do this week.
The importance of stopping isn’t just because God commands it, and He’s asked it to be a spiritual discipline of ours. There’s actually a small fraction of incredibly successful business people who are realizing the need to pause. Ariana Huffington has recently written quite a bit about her brush with burnout and the realization that she needs to slow down. One of her latest ventures is called Thrive Global and is focused on helping people realize a healthy balance in their life. She’s had people like Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, write about the importance of getting eight hours of sleep a night to be their best self and leader. Those two names alone are two of the most influential in the world, and even though they might not realize how God has designed sleep and rest as aids for us, the truth is clear.
Getting away from the hustle culture and building in rhythms of rest is much more necessary for your success than a couple of extra hours in the office.