Rest or Ruined: A conversation with a serial achiever on the importance of rest.

Ed: Adam, we’ve known each other for a while, so when I heard that you were writing a book on rest, I was surprised. You’re the embodiment of an East Coast, busy, constantly moving person. How did you end up writing this book?

Adam: Yeah, it made my wife laugh, too. So, here’s how it happened: In 2013, our church was exploding, we launched a new campus, we bought a new (but very old) home that I was remodeling, I was wrapping up a master’s degree, and we had the most sleep-resistant child ever.

After a few months of 60-hour work weeks followed by late night reno sessions, I broke down. My whole life I powered through difficulties by just achieving a bit more. But this time, that didn’t work, and I came close to achieving my own destruction. Depression hit hard, and it lasted for a long while. Learning to set my work down was big part of my recovery from that season.

Fast forward a year or two later, and I’m sitting with my staff. I pitch to them a great idea about a new, church-wide campaign to get our people sharing their faith and serving the city. Bleary-eyed, they informed me that everyone I was leading was pretty tired. It occurred to me that I was powering through again, we’d never studied sabbath as a church, and as it was summer, it was a good time.

So, I changed the plan: summer of sabbath. No big initiatives, no new programs. We were going to learn to rest, together, even though we were all bad at it.

As I researched, I found a lot of long books written by people much older than me, reflecting on sabbath in retirement. But, that’s not where my people (or most people) are. So, after that series, a publisher contacted me about putting my ideas into print. I set out writing …

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from Christianity Today Magazine