Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Stacy Averette

A few months ago, before the world got weird—okay, weird-er—I stumbled upon a book that wound up being the perfect read in this season. I’m halfway in and decided to share some of my favorite chapter highlights/quotes and a few of my favorite photos from the past few months.

The book is The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Your Sabbath by Mark Buchanan.


No work is so menial that it cannot be rendered as worship.

Jon Eric’s wife, Molly, and “Little Man” preparing dinner for us.

What if your work became worship? What if the work of your hands—repairing lawn mowers, scouring pots, paving streets, mending bones, balancing ledgers—was Eucharistic, a sacrament of God’s presence that you gave and received? What if Jesus himself was your boss, the One who watched over you and whom you honored with your efforts?

Our oldest son, Jon Eric. I took a photo with my phone as we pulled into his yard on his birthday. He’d been doing yard work and wasn’t crazy about me taking his photo. It’s one of my favorite photos of him!


This is a gift of God: to experience the sacred amidst the commonplace—to taste heaven in our daily bread, a new heaven and new earth in a mouthful of wine, joy in the ache of our muscles or the sweat of our brows.

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Proverbs 14:8

Wise people ask, “Does the path I’m walking lead to a place I want to go? If I keep heading this way, will I like where I arrive?”

I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all that rushing. Through all that haste, I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.

Our youngest son, Caleb, found a perfect spot to rest.

Too much work, the British used to say, makes Jack a dull boy. But it’s worse than that. It numbs Jack, parches Jack, hardens Jack. It kills his heart. When we get too busy, everything becomes either a trudge or a scramble, the doldrums or sheer mayhem. We get bored with the familiar, threatened by the unfamiliar. We just want to be left alone.

Busyness kills the heart.

One day he said to me, “I know God is trying to get my attention. I just haven’t figured out yet what he wants my attention for. He must want me to do something.”

I thought for a moment. “Maybe,” I said, “that’s the problem: you think he wants your attention in order for you to do something. Maybe he just wants your attention.”

The essence of a Sabbath heart: paying attention. It is being fully present, wholly awake, in each moment. It is the trained ability to inhabit our own existence without remainder, so that even the simplest things—the in and out of our own breathing, the coolness of tiles on our bare feet, the way the wind sculpts clouds into crocodiles and polar bears—gain the force of discovery and revelation.

I want to learn to pass through a day without passing it by.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; his is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62: 1-2

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:8

Inherent in a life of thanksgiving is an ongoing discovery of God’s sufficiency, his generosity, his fatherly affection and warrior protection.

For only those who number their days aright gain wise hearts. Only they become God’s sages: those calm, unhurried people who live in each moment fully, savoring simple things, celebrating small epiphanies, unafraid of life’s inevitable surprises and reverses, adaptive to change yet not chasing after it.

We should be a little uneasy about the pairing of puposefulness and drivenness. Something’s out of kilter there. Drivenness may awaken or be a catalyst for purpose, but it rarely fulfills it, more often it jettisons it. A comon characteristic of driven people is that, at some point, they forget the purpose. They lose the point. The very reason they began something—embarked on a journey, undertook a project, waged a war, entered a profession, married a girl—erodes under the weight of their striving. Their original inspiration may be noble. But driven too hard, it gets supplanted by greed for more, or dread of setback, or force of habit. Drivenness erodes purposefulness.

Caleb, Jon, and Molly at “the big tree” in the Bankhead National Forest.

I find that the more I try to manage time, the more anxious I get about it.

The truly purposeful have an ironic secret: they manage time less and pay attention more.

Jesus, for example. He lived life with the clearest and highest purpose. Yet he veered and strayed from one interruption to the next, with no apparent plan in hand other than his single, overarching one: get to Jerusalme and die. Otherwise, his days, as far as we can figure, were a series of zigzags and detours, apparent whims and second thoughts, interruptions and delays, off-the-cuff plans, spur-of-the-moment decisions, leisurely meals, serendipitous rounds of storytelling.

Who touched me?

You give them something to eat.

Let’s go to the other side.

Jesus was available–or not–according to some oblique logic all his own. He had an inner ear for the Father’s whispers, a third eye for the Spirit’s motions.

“My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted,” Henry Nouwen said near the end of his life, ‘until I discovered the interruptions were my work.”


Do any of these lines from the book resonate with you? Which one is your favorite and why?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.