What kind of leisure?

Bonar on M’Cheyne’s life:

… if compelled to take some rest from his too exhausting toils, his recreations were little else than a change of occupation, from one mode of glorifying God to another. His beautiful hymn, I am a debtor, was written in May 1837 at a leisure hour.
Memoir, Bonar, p.81

I think this is a challenge for us Christians in our leisure/fun/entertainment driven world. I am tempted to think that taking rest means rest from God. Don’t I realise that eternal rest is knowing and glorifying God? There won’t be opportunity or desire to switch off from God and veg out!

What kind of leisure?

2 thoughts on “What kind of leisure?

  1. étrangère says:

    A good observation. I realised a while ago that I can be entertained and emerge even more tired than before – and reminded myself of a Biblical theology of rest. But it’s easy to slip the other way and with a low view of creation, have a utilitarian view of leisure – à la Richard “What is a candle but to burn?” Baxter. I confess I didn’t finish the work – I found Bonar’s choice of diary material from M’Cheyne so intense as to make the man seem rather inhuman! More on-topic, I suspect that a less frantic pace of work leads to better quality of rest irrespective of the activity. Binge working & binge 'resting' are a fairly modern thing, aren't they?

  2. Stephen says:

    Thanks, Rosemary. I guess what interested me here was not so much the change of pace in going from ‘work’ to ‘rest’, or the nature of the activity in ‘rest’, but how the relationship to God may or may not change in the transition. I rather think that it is easy to slip into the idea that living before God is ‘work’ (we can use terms like the work of worship, the work of prayer, the work of Bible study etc etc) from which one can switch off. It’s true of me!

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