Am I the only person who finds themselves running from one thing to another? Not joking, I will realize that I am literally running in a store. Embarrassing.
Even when if my body is still (does not happen a ton), my mind can still be racing.
The world we live in applauds busyness and celebrates exhaustion. Folks compete with each other, comparing to-do lists. I've been through seasons when I would've been ashamed to admit it if someone called me in the middle of a nap.
Here is the truth....We are not meant to be hamsters on a wheel. (Those little rodents even run on those squeaky wheels in the middle of the night!)
"Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28
Hold it! We GET to make a DECISION about carrying heavy burdens. There are options. We are invited to come to Him and receive rest.
"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-for He grants sleep to those He loves" Psalm 127:2.
Working is not bad. But what is the motivation? Do I think I have to prove or earn something?
Am I desiring the approval of man?
This lifestyle is a dangerous way to live. My health has been a struggle when I ran around frantically. A doctor friend of my told me that our stress takes a toll on our bodies...it just does it differently in each one. Maybe its migraine headaches, or ulcers. Might look different for each of us but the struggle is real. Stress stinks in so many ways.
- Our hearts can even ache when there is lack of peace.
- Work can become sloppy.
- Relationships can be compromised without intentionality.
None of these options are best.
The questions I began asking myself are these: Is God be the king of my hearts? Or have I let something else (or someone else) have that place?
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help come from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth" Psalm 121:1-2.
Do not misunderstand. We aren't meant to be lazy. But this is not an either/or situation. Culturally we tend to swing from one extreme to the other.
I do not want to swing from my hamster wheel into a Lazy Boy recliner and stay there. (Well honestly I do sometimes.)
It's possible to do the work that we need to do from a place of rest. Sometimes this seems impossibile. Just look at this verse, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" Matt. 11:29-30.
We can look at Jesus' life for an example. Jesus understood pulling away from the crowd in order to get filled up. The time He spent with the Father was His time of refueling. These times set an example for how important it is for man to slow down and be still. His relationship with His Dad empowered Jesus to do His ministry with love, grace and peace.
I can hear your voices right now saying, "Yes, but He was God." I understand. But we cannot negate the fact that He was fully man as well. He came to show us how to live.
He stopped for the one.
Jesus touched the untouchables.
He got angry...but His anger was timely and appropriate.
He saw value in everyone.
He washed feet and fed multitudes.
Teaching all the time, He always had a lesson ready.
He also got tired and thirsty and sat down at a well.
He was able to sleep in a boat in the midst of a storm that scared fishermen.
Jesus was constantly about His Father's business but he did it from a peaceful place. Let's try going about our business this week from a different place.
Imagine starting from a quiet place, getting filled up before we ever go out of the house. If we began to feel anxious or angry we can pull away from the crowd and get alone with our good Dad, even if it is just for a moment. "We will find rest for our souls." That is a promise.
I have been known to head to the closet and shut the door. (The bathroom is no good. My kids have some kind of beeper in there that tells them all when I have arrived) It is not passed me to lay down on the floor and have a little talk with Jesus until the peace comes.
If I have a lot going on I have started to be kinder to myself in the midst. I start to consider some options.
- Am I breathing? I will tense up and hold my breath...not good for my body.
- What can I cut out in my schedule that will provide a break?
- How can I teach my children/grandchildren to take care of themselves by my example?
- Are the tasks in front of me ESSENTIAL? (What if I couldn't do them?)
Helping others is something we are created to do...but I can't help anyone else if I fail to take care of me first.
Write and tell us about what you do when you release you need to rest and regroup. What has been helpful to you?
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