If you’ve attended an official Unbound event or listened to the Be Unbound Podcast within the past year or so you’ve probably heard about the Ask, Understand, Do, Live model. This model provides the foundation for Unbound’s educational approach and the core principles that we seek to pass on through our programs. You’ve also probably heard about rest.
Rest is part of the Live principle. We believe that a full life isn’t just about working. Our work is important but we all need rest too. I’ve written about rest before on this blog so I encourage you to read more.
I want to focus on a particular element of the rest principle in this article: how faith allows us to rest.
The Basis for Rest
Faith is the basis for rest because it acknowledges that we are not independent. In the context of the Christian faith, this looks like acknowledging that we cannot earn salvation or friendship with God through our own actions. We must be saved by faith. We entrust ourselves to something, someone, else.
This acknowledgement of our insufficiency is an important step towards rest. We cannot rest if the world depends on us. Rest would be irresponsible, if not impossible, if it’s all up to us.
Faith leads to acknowledgement of our limits and our needs. This allows us to rest, knowing that we can because the world doesn’t depend on us and that we should because we are finite beings.
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What does this look like in the context of our education or career?
It’s really good to approach school or work with a strong work ethic. It’s important to be diligent. But we need to remember that we aren’t machines that can work all day and night without a break.
Motivation ebbs and flows in our education and careers. That’s okay.
Perhaps this is particularly true in education. Because education is all about preparing for the future, it can quickly overwhelm the diligent student. We begin to stress out and think that a failed test here means a failed course there and that in turn causes a catastrophic failure in our education and that we’ll never amount to anything.
Now, this is admittedly a dramatic progression. But we’ve probably all caught ourselves in it at some point.
Faith frees us from this tyrannical panic and burden to be perfect. We can entrust our future to God instead of our grades. Those educational attainments are important benchmarks and the work we do on our education is important. But our future success doesn’t depend on educational perfection today. So it’s okay to rest. Not only is it okay, it’s good.
Resting in Dependence
Dependence isn’t always as attractive as independence. We would much rather be in control of our own destiny. But that’s just not how reality works. We are dependent on other people and, most fundamentally, on God. Acknowledging this allows us to work hard when appropriate and rest hard when appropriate.
Overwhelmed by what’s in front of you or your student? Not sure what the next right step is? Join us for the 3-day What’s Next? Challenge happening August 10-12. This online training will help you move your student from unmotivated to ready for action without the stress and anxiety. Register today.
Jace Bower is the Marketing Coordinator for Unbound. An Unbound alumnus, he has experienced firsthand the powerful advantages of doing college differently and participating in an intentional community. Jace graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History in 2016 and has worked in restaurant management and marketing since then. He also served on the Unbound Student Cabinet in 2019.
The author of two books and a semi-regular blogger, Jace can often be found doing something with words. When he’s not, chances are he’s reading about theology, listening to music, or playing pool or tennis with his wife Shannon in their Virginia home.