Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Drive on . . . but take time to rest along the way!

There are days when I just feel tired from the moment I set my feet on the ground in the morning till I finally lay my head on the pillow again at night. In the hours of what were supposed to be "rest" somehow my body and mind just didn't get the rest it needed.  Add to that the fact I sometimes don't eat the way I should eat and you have a recipe for a long day with not so much energy! Looking at how America has stepped up to the "fatigue plate" with their response of creating all manner of "energy supplements" ranging from Red Bull to vitamin type drinks you can swig down at the first feeling of being a little too tired to finish what is at hand and you can see this doesn't seem to be a problem isolated to me.  Maybe another part of this phenomena is the ever increasing desire to do more in the hours of the day we have before us - perhaps even more than what our ancestors would have thought humanly possible.  We are a people who don't want to run out of energy - we hope to be like the little pink Energizer bunny!  What we fail to recognize is the source of strength isn't found in the bottle of energy drink or the supplements we swallow down each day - it is a relationship we maintain in moments of rest and repose!

He helps tired people be strong.  He gives power to those without it.  Young men get tired and need to rest.  Even young boys stumble and fall.  But those who trust in the Lord will become strong again.  They will be like eagles that grow new feathers.  They will run and not get weak.  They will walk and not get tired.  (Isaiah 40:29-31 ERV)

God helps tired people be strong.  To those without power, we only need to ask to receive it.  It isn't about us doing more, though.  It is about us becoming more.  He is more concerned with what we are becoming rather than what we are doing.  We get weak - he makes us strong.  The truth is we walk UNTIL we become weary - we make ourselves weak by all the "doing"!  There is a lesson in this passage we need to learn, my friends.  Walking makes us weary. Doing can be overdone!  When we want to walk further, we should evaluate the reason we are wanting to go further.  Yesterday, I told you about my pastor's transformation to his prayer life.  He simply added the word "so" to his prayers to bring a little clarity to the reasons behind what he was asking.  I think we might just do well to add this word "so" to the choices we are making about walking just a little bit further.  For example, if we are wanting to get this task completed so we can have a three day weekend to spend with our family, that might not be a bad thing.  If we want to get the task completed so we can take on another one which will totally consume us and take us away from our family, that may not be as honorable of a purpose!

Many people I meet today seem to have a hard time admitting they are weary in the pursuit of all the things they have on their plate.  It is like they are afraid to admit they are human!  So, they chug down the coffee, drink the Red Bull, and plug on.  They take on one more task and then challenge others to do the same.  News flash...not everybody wants to run until they are weary!  Some of us want to stop long enough to recharge and regroup!  This isn't a sign of weakness, but of realized strength!  It is in the stopping where we find the energies to keep on going!  Here is something to help you remember to take time to recharge and renew:

- When we admit we cannot do it all, we are not admitting to weakness, but to dependence.  In today's dog-eat-dog world, we may not want to admit we are dependent upon anyone else, but if we want to leave a legacy it isn't going to matter that we made it into the Fortune 500, or won the Pulitzer prize.  Our real legacy is found in the character which is created by the surrender of our lives to the one who made it!  Dependence upon God for the provision of our daily needs is the starting spot for a long, productive walk.  Not a walk which drives us to weariness, but one which produces strength of character and depth of wisdom in the end.

- Weariness is an outcome of physical and mental demands, but ignore the weariness long enough and you will create more issues physically and mentally than your body is capable of healing from in short order.  We were designed to work, but we were created to rest.  There has to be a balance of work and times of renewal.  Taking time at the beginning of each day is one way I find time of renewal.  It is my BEST time of the day as I am not a night owl by any means. In these moments each morning, I trust God to pour into me what I need in order to mount up with eagle's wings for the day ahead of me.  In the moments which pass after this time is over, I count on God to help me see it isn't in the volume I produce as much as the ones I touch along the way.

We want volume - God wants quality.  We want productivity - God wants consistency.  We want more than humanly possible - God wants to give everything that is divinely available.  We need only sit at his feet long enough to realize the renewal he makes available.  Just sayin!