I read this book on a retreat-cum-weekend away with some other folk from our church. I’d been sent it to review by The Good Book Company, and was excited to see what this take on rest would be. I was very pleasantly surprised, spiritually nourished, and personally encouraged.
The author is a busy pastor – and does his life in the relatively typically busy city of Boston in the USA. Through personal anecdote, biblical reflection, and simple wisdom, he gives us a helpful why of rest, in order to challenge us to consider what God says through the Bible in order to pursue and celebrate rest.
I particularly liked the author bio on the back:
Adam Mabry is Lead Pastor of Alethia Church, a rapidly growing church in Boston, Massachusetts. He is married to Hope and they have four children. Adam is not naturally good at resting.
Whether this is a deliberate subversion of the usual ‘expert writes book’, or ‘very important person tells us about the thing they are important because of’, or just true (And I think it is deliberately the former whilst actually being the latter) this is really helpful. The ‘why’ of this book is just as important as the what and the how. Adam delves deeply into what the Bible says, mindful of various pastors and writers, but ultimately rooted in what God has revealed about human beings through his word, the Bible. The author introduces this book thusly:
“With feet firmly rooted in the scriptural story, we’ll discover why rest is so important, and what it means for our relationships. Then, we’ll wrap up with a few words on how to actually practice the art of rest. And after that? Well, after that your’e on your own”
Rarely, I genuinely think that Adam succeeds in this summary. This is book that rewards reading – and it really isn’t particularly long. This is a book that rewards praying – and it is deeply rooted in reality. This is a book that rewards thinking about – Adam takes the Bible seriously, draws on his own story, and listens carefully to a number of sages.
Personally, I found this book very helpful. I will be recommending it to most people at the local church I’m part of in London. I’ll also recommend it to pastors and academics – an interesting pair of breeds of people who both spend probably too much time pursuing what they do. This is a book that invites people to remember not what they do, but who they are. And who God is.