Rest: The Secret Ingredient For Success

It's easy to keep going like you are the Energizer Bunny. Or at least pretend like you are one. Pretend is the key the word.

Defining The Creative Vacuum.

We (artists) can live in a vacuum of just our creativity. We can dive in and go anywhere at any time. To the rest of the world we look as if we are just staring at a wall or walking down the street. But our hearts and minds are engaged in the full creative process. However, we have limits that we must acknowledge.

Creative Rest Habits.

Artists need rest. Our bodies being the weak vessels that they are lack the infinitude of an eternal body. Our limits often show. And I believe that rest is the key to it all.

There was a professor in college who did a splendid presentation on rest for a chapel service one time. This idea has resonated with me for over 10 years. The truth is, I have not learned all of the secrets to this magnificent tool for maintaining my humanity. I believe it is a discipline that all artists have to learn and become pro's at. There are some key insights that I have learned on my own, from other artists, and in church that I would like to share, but I am still working on.

Coherent Rest Habits.

Six insights to take seriously when when considering coherent rest habits, because six is the number assigned to man and Jesus said in Mark 2:27- “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

1. Plan a daily Sabbath time.  End your creative work at a specific time every day. Turn off your computer. Clean off your art desk. Put your art supplies away. Leave your creative space for the day, if at all possible.

2. Make a point to contact friends, hang out, and spend time with family. Work is not life, it just helps propel it forward. Take time to exercise and plan.

3. Limit your nightly activities.  On the opposing end of making time for friends and family and social activities is the reality that you are limited in yourself. Do not over-promise. Guard your rest when at all possible. Because you need a daily Sabbath time you should separate it out for your own sake. Only you know what you can handle!

4. Don't sedate your creativity just because you are not in your designated art making time. It is generally better to get the idea on paper or on the computer than to let it follow you into other decision-making times.

5. Be wise about when you decide to stay up late. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid it 100% of the time, but when it is necessary, make the proper adjustments. Have a plan. If you have to lose sleep at night plan a time the next day to rest before being creative again. You will be much more productive.

6. Plan at least one Sabbath day a week. That one day dedicated to rest and worship of Jesus will put you so much farther ahead during the week. You will be astounded! You can make decisions and stick to them. Your work will be better and the time spent working will be of higher quality. It is truly a mystery why this works so well. But the truth is God created us in His image and He set the standard to rest on the last day of the week. Who is wiser than that?


Protect your rest times and get good at it. All other great decisions will emanate from this choice. Don't let other people dictate what is good for you concerning what you know you can physically handle. You will get where you believe you are called much faster by limiting your activity and honoring the resting period God has put in place for all mankind.

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