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Embracing the art of rest 

Editorial from January 2021

January is often a difficult month for many – the cold and dark, which seemed so mystical and beautiful in the Christmas period of December, turns to misery in January; but only if we let it. 

I am not ignoring the very real difficulties that many of us are facing at this time. However, I truly believe that if we can learn to embrace it, we can actually enjoy this period of rest. In my own book (Still Standing – 100 Lessons From An “Unsuccessful” Life, SPCK), I refer back to a conversation I had with a friend a few years ago when I was bemoaning the general gloom of January. She suggested that we see it not as a time of deflation after the celebration of Christmas, but as an intended rest from our recent overindulgence. My friend Kate would say she is not a practising Christian, but I felt what she was alluding to mirrors the biblical concept of a Sabbath rest. 

In this issue you will find our regular contributors inspiring us with scripture and stories around the importance of this rest. Did you know that God told his people to leave the land fallow in order for it to rest and recover every seven years? (Read Elaine Storkey’s Bible Study on page 22 to find out more.) As a long-term city dweller, rest is a concept I’ve struggled with, but rest from spending, from overeating, from ‘doing’; can teach us how to do Sabbath rest well – and we reap huge benefits too. 

If, like me, you find it difficult to switch off, you’ll find creative ways of doing so in this edition of Woman Alive. Let’s take some time to let our whole selves – mind, body, spirit (and wallet!) – rest, so that we are better prepared to take on the coming year.  

Tola-Doll Fisher, Editor 

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