Busyness is a sickness of the soul that affects many today—and it is especially detrimental to young people, who are finding their identity shaped by ongoing resume-building, constant digital communication, and unceasing activity. The last thing they have time for is rest. But rest—Sabbath—is necessary for youth, not just because of who they are socially, emotionally, and physiologically, but because of who God has made them to be and wants them to be.
Nathan Stucky shows that rest challenges youth whose identities are rooted in productivity, efficiency, achievement, and accomplishment. For them, the notion of Sabbath grace both appeals and disorients. Yet through the Sabbath, God invites young people into an identity rooted and grounded in the grace, life, and provision of God. Wrestling with Rest offers biblical and practical advice for helping youth to discover their God-given identity, in which they can truly find rest.
“With all that's going on in our lives and in the world, who has time to rest? In this winsome and wise book, Stucky offers a gentle, moving corrective to that pervasive modern mindset. And while the subtitle might make it seem as if this book is about young people, it's really about all of us—all who are burdened by ceaseless activity, all with endless to-do lists. Stucky reminds us that Sabbath is a beautiful thing for us. And he shows us that at the heart of this gift of Sabbath is a truth we want to hear yet struggle to believe: God loves us.”
Jeff Chu, author of Does Jesus Really Love Me?
“I didn’t know how badly I needed this book until I read it. Most of us are vaguely aware of how our overworked culture and overbooked schedules negatively impact our own health and well-being, but few have considered how our resistance to rest has affected the next generation. Wise, practical, and theologically rich, Wrestling with Rest clears a path forward and invites the reader into an invigorating reconsideration of rest as a beautiful and necessary ‘gift of grace.’ His experience in both youth ministry and farming make Nathan Stucky the perfect teacher and guide, trustworthy and approachable. I’ll be thinking about (and acting on) the ideas I encountered in these pages for months and years to come. What a gift of a read.”
Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and Inspired
“Nate Stucky does a courageous and beautiful work in this book delving into Sabbath. It is a breath of fresh air in the midst of the more recent deluge of self-help, self-care, ‘unplugging’ programs that often miss the crucial center of rest, and why we rest, and that is to simply be God's beloved. Nate gifts us with a rich reminder through story, biblical texts, and an accessible theological framework that will deepen our relationships to God, to our own selves, to each other.”
Mihee Kim-Kort, author of Outside the Lines
“As Nathan Stucky clearly demonstrates, Sabbath-keeping is not just a practice that helps us experience better lives. Sabbath has deep and critical theological implications for creation, community, death, and resurrection. The importance of Sabbath rest is something that must be modeled to youth as we journey with them in our desire to follow God faithfully in the way of Jesus. Stucky presents a profound and compelling theological and biblical case for how Sabbath-keeping is at the core of what it means for us to become fully alive, flourishing human beings. Stucky convincingly argues that to ignore Sabbath-keeping, actually results in a deformation of our personhood. Please read this book, not only to help the young people in your congregation, but for the sake of your own life.”
Mike King, President/CEO, Youthfront and Adjunct Professor at Nazarene Theological Seminary; author of Presence Centered Youth Ministry: Guiding Students into Spiritual Formation
“In an age where young people are more exhausted and anxious than ever, Wrestling with Rest offers concrete strategies for leaders to guide learners to push back against the do-it-all, success-oriented culture we live in.”
co-founder of The Liturgists and host of Ask Science Mike
“In the late 1990s French thinker Alain Ehrenberg wrote a powerful history of depression, titled—in French—La fatigue d'être soi (The fatigue of being yourself). Ehrenberg prophetically saw what we are now dealing with in regard to young people: a generation working so hard to perform identities that they're exhausted by eighteen, many overwhelmed with depression and anxiety. Nate Stucky has done something very important in this book you hold; he’s given us a way to respond to La fatigue d'être soi. This book couldn’t be more timely. It needs to be read, studied closely, and read again. Stucky’s wisdom is needed for just this time. If you draw from his wisdom it will change your ministry.”
Andrew Root, The Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary