Working From Rest

by | Jul 7, 2022

12 months and one day ago, I began my journey at Workmatters. 366 days of growing professionally and personally, learning from those on my team, my classmates in the WMI-Arkansas cohort this spring, executive speakers, and mentors alike.

One thing has rung true through it all and continues to be important in each season of the year, is rest. Now, I’m not just talking about sleep, but I should mention the proven importance of a good night’s sleep. No, I mean rest: the peaceful state in which our minds are clear, our hearts full, and our behaviors reflect our genuine trust in the Lord and our intentionality to live out our faith at work.

I had once heard a fellow WMI Alumna, Christina Curtis of Harvest Group, speak about her transformation after the Institute and how her perception of rest had changed. She started to see “the importance of working from rest and not for it.” This insight convicted me and called me to assess my week at work and how I can be working from rest and not for it.

Here are some of the ways I’ve seen that play out for me in the workplace:

Utilizing my PTO
One of our board members, Sheerah Davis, spoke during our WMI-Online session this past fall. She mentioned the importance of setting an example, “being authentic, your whole person, and making sure everyone else knows they can do that too.” Using your PTO (all of it!) shows your team that you emphasize a healthy work-life balance and prioritize bringing the best version of yourself to work.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 speaks on it, “Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” In Mark 2:27, Jesus explains, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

My “Closed-Door” Policy
I had heard it for the first time at a conference last year, “I don’t believe in the ‘open-door policy.'” It surprised me. I had always boasted and even bragged about being someone whose door was always open.

But you know what it made me realize? By making myself readily available to anyone who passed my office, I couldn’t give my full attention to anything. I was functioning at “halfway” in everything, including my output and my relationships at work. With closed-door time, we can focus more of our efforts on the work at hand, and indirectly, the time we spend with our doors open yields more effective and fruitful conversation.

In Mark 6:31, Jesus said, “come away with me to a quiet place and rest a while.” As this time spent working with excellence will bring great glory to God, “you shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you,” as it says in Psalm 128:2.

Scheduled Time to Reflect and Refocus
I need structure; without it, I am easily distracted and prone to procrastination. It seems natural to schedule our tasks and meetings at work, but adding specified time on our calendar to reflect, rest, and pray helps us create clear boundaries and guidelines for our team when needing to schedule meetings.

I often reflect on two questions during this time: “How have I experienced God or the Holy Spirit in my work this morning, and how can I honor the Lord in my work this afternoon?” A verse I often run to while I focus my mind on my next task or project is Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

So, as you look at the coming weeks, ask yourself how working from rest could have a positive impact on your workplace, what rest looks like to you, and how you can begin to implement those new practices and start working from rest and not for it.

For more insight on how to integrate your faith at work, I would recommend checking out the Workmatters Conference coming this September. The speaker lineup is stacked with marketplace and thought leaders, making the content and experience practical and actionable for your spiritual and professional growth.

Photo of Jessica Simms

Jessica Simms

Jessica joined the Workmatters team in July of 2021. She was born and raised in New Jersey and lived in Louisiana and Texas before finding her home in Arkansas in 2019. Jessica is an avid Razorback fan and has twin daughters, Austin and Kendall. She is also a member of Cross Church-Fayetteville and is a WMI-Arkansas alumna.