Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rest is the first part of restoration

Rest eludes most of us, especially in this hectic, break-neck pace we all set for ourselves. Our pastor just concluded a very well-taught series on the need to just "pause" once in a while and actually enjoy the rest the Bible promises and commands us to enjoy. As he put it, rest is not a suggestion, it is a command. To truly rest means we are free to shut off - to just chill. I like what journalist Kin Hubbard says: "A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower." Some of us are so busy "buzzing" it appears as though we are being very productive because we are "busy". The truth of the matter is that we are likely to get way more done if we'd just stop to enjoy the flowers once in a while instead of flitting from one to the other so doggone frequently!

So do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don’t realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too. So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today. (Matthew 6:31-34 VOICE)


Jesus was simply trying to tell his followers they could actually rest in God's provision, protection, and even his perfection!  We all have enough right here in our "today" to keep us busy as bees, but to introduce all manner of worry into the matter is to be like bees flitting from flower to flower without really accomplishing all that much at any of the flowers.  In all of our busy escapades, we often forget how to really relate to one another.  Sacrates said, "Beware of the barrenness of a busy life."  We often don't realize just how barren our lives have become until we actually take time to disconnect from what has busied our days and just rest, taking in the moments and enjoying the companionship of those around us. When these times are too far between, we can find the companionship we counted on to carry us through may not be as deep or meaningful as it once was, as companionship must be cultivated with great care!

I came across a quote once that made me consider every river I see just a little differently:  "What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt - it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else."  Maybe we need the rest of the river in our lives - to be sure we will get to where we are going and to be content with where we are going!  One of the biggest parts of "rest" is this idea of contentment - to be so fulfilled in where we are going that the journey just doesn't drag us down or consume us with wasteful expenditures of energy we don't have. The river moves at slow paces in some parts, while it is energized at a much quicker pace in others. What makes the difference may be very well be the elevation at which one finds oneself!  

I have one secret weapon in my arsenal I go to every day - it is this place of restfulness.  There are times when I just need to shut down, spend time just thinking upon the things God has been saying to me, either directly, through his Word, or through the wise words of a friend who knows me all too well.  These aren't wasted moments, but rather restorative rest.  There are also times when I just need to get away, shut down completely from the hectic pace of life and rest a while.  We all need these - no matter what pace we keep each day.  Just sayin!