Rest.

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;

for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.

Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

Hebrews 4:9-11

    We as a society have begun to glorify the idea of being busy.  A busy schedule has somehow started to define your importance.  Being busy is the reality for most, but it’s how it has begun to determine the value of our efforts that I have a problem.  I think that this is a complete contradiction to what the Lord has created us for.

I think that being busy makes us feel more accomplished, but that it is only because society has decided it should.  I don’t want to go on about how the fallen world that we live in has stooped so low as to convince people that they’re value is completely dependent on how marked up their planner is (because you’re only important if you need a planner right?).  I just want to address the fact that we need rest.  I realize that there are some people who are able to accomplish great things in their busy schedule.  They may argue that it actually helps them work, that they don’t need to rest, or that rest makes them anxious and stressed out so they are somehow exempt from practicing it.  I’m sorry people, but you’re wrong.  Now, rest is defined as a period of ease or inactivity after exertion or labor. I am by no means encouraging laziness or apathy.  Rest is for those who labor.  I am addressing the truth that we are called to rest.  Now, rest is not one more thing to add to the checklist, rest is not sitting down for five minutes.  Rest, however, is a time for daily renewal.

Psalm 23 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul”. First, let’s address the fact that the Lord makes us rest!  Do you remember when you were little and you didn’t think you needed a nap?  You’re mom would try to convince you that you did, but you’d never listen.  There was that one time that she let you skip your nap and you cried because you couldn’t walk straight, you screamed at the cat for staring at you, and how dare your mother help you tie your shoes!  But, it wasn’t until you fell asleep mid bite that you realized maybe your mother was right.  It’s funny how the people who love us make us do things that we don’t really want to do.  Secondly, let’s address where He takes us.  God doesn’t take us to rest in front of the television.  He takes us to green pastures and quiet waters.  These places replenish us, physically and spiritually.

If for some reason you still believe that rest wasn’t meant for you, God himself needed rest (Genesis 2:2-3).  Therefore, the idea that we don’t need rest is almost blasphemy.  Not only is the absence of rest disobedient to God (Hebrews 4:9-11), but it is in a way saying that we, finite little humans, are somehow stronger than God.  The idea of that makes me cringe.

I am simply speaking from another perspective that does not find it’s value in how much you do.  I do still believe that we should work and work hard.  But being involved in more things is not the measure of effort.  Imagine being so focused on one thing that you are so madly passionate about that it got your sole attention.  Simply imagine the kind of impact you could make in that area.  Now I know where your mind may be going: “But what about everything else that I’m involved with?”. Pardon my bluntness, but the world is capable of functioning without you in it; it functioned before you were here and it will function after you are gone.  Do you bring special characteristics to the table? Absolutely! But the idea that the places where we are involved are somehow dependant on our partial participation is prideful and naive.  Now notice I am referring to partial participation.  The world is full of people who can get the job done and done well.  We are in need of people who are capable of doing great things in few places rather than good things in many.

So here I am, writing this as a plea for replenishment, a plea for daily rest.  If that means resigning from a place of service I encourage you to do so.  Making time for rest is not making time for laziness.  We are called to be obedient in rest.  I promise the Lord is able to fill your absence.  Take time to rest in the presence of the Lord daily and remember this: you’re value is not defined by the check boxes in your planner.

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