Busy little bees all about the buzz. There is buzziness that has to be done, we say. Yes, the Lord has called up to work but he has also called us to rest.
Science moment of the week: According to Universe Today, in one hour the earth will have moved 1,040 miles. Because of an amazing, invisible force called gravity we are glued to planet Earth instead of flying off in to the Milky Way somewhere. It’s actually incredible if you think about it. The momentum at which we are traveling is actually preventing us from feeling the movement!
Is my momentum hindering me from feeling?
Am I aware of what is flying by me as I “spin through life?”
Is the rush affecting my rest?
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28).
If asked to list some of the most fundamental spiritual disciplines, how many of us would have listed “rest?” I know, I know; if someone asked me what I did today, it’s a little uncomfortable when my answer is, “I rested.” I mean as a general rule, no one is going to tell you they are proud of you for resting.
Resting doesn’t sound very spiritual, but it is actually one of the most spiritual things we can do. We can freely rest because everything that absolutely has to be done (in order to accomplish our salvation), Jesus has already completed at the cross. “It if finished,” was His cry. We are now able to rest in the perfect life that He lived for us. We are not and never will be perfect in and of ourselves. So, we are called to rest in Christ’s perfect life and record that was transferred to us at the moment we first believed. Though we’ve sinned, Jesus’ perfect righteousness is now credited to our account. As a result, when God looks at us He doesn’t see our flaws and failures; rather, He only sees the blood and righteousness of His perfect Son, Jesus. The core of Christianity is this: we are not saved by what we do for God, but we are saved by what God has already done for us in Christ. Our souls no longer need to be weary from the broken cisterns of striving for perfection; instead, we can cease striving from our “works” and drink from living waters.
In addition, we are also called to enjoy physical rest
Consider Jesus on the boat with the disciples during the storm. Do you remember what Jesus was doing in the middle of Hurricane Galilee? He wasn’t rushing around panicking and shouting out orders; instead, He was sleeping. He’s at rest, at peace – even in the midst of the storm. While everyone else is losing their minds, Jesus takes a nice little cat-nap. This in many ways characterizes much of Jesus’ ministry: a seemingly restful, slow, concentrated, love-the-person-in-front-of-you kind of pace.
For us, resting might look like watching a movie, eating ice cream, running, reading a good book, listening to music, journaling, napping, hiking, sitting, enjoying a cup of coffee, golfing, or going to dinner with a friend. These can all be ways of resting. Think of a few things that recharge your batteries and then make a plan to incorporate those into your daily rhythms. For me it’s a movie night with the hubs or reading a good book.
When I slow down, I am much more aware of all the blessings around me. Butterflies dancing over flowers, birds chirping, and our kids’ laughter in the background can all be overlooked in the rush. So often, all we hear is “hurry!!!” Alarms, cell phones, oven-timers, incoming emails – they’re all telling us to get a move on it!
Loving slow makes me stop and smell the roses. I see beauty where there was chaos. Do you remember those 3D posters? You know, the ones where it looks like one thing until you stare at it up close and then it turns into something completely different? When we slow down and start looking intently into what God has placed in our laps, we begin to see beauty in the most unexpected places. What may seem like an interruption can quickly become a grace of God. What seems like an ordinary day can become a masterpiece. A messy blur can start to make some sense with a long pause.
I enjoy giving gifts to my kids. It blesses my heart when they acknowledge that it came from me and they enjoy it. God is the greatest gift giver of all time, and He receives glory when we acknowledge that every good and perfect gift is from Him. He receives glory when we acknowledge His beauty all around us – the beauty of relationships, creation, ideas, changed lives, good food, etc. When we are delighting in creation and the gifts He has given us, we are in many ways delighting in Him. However, the only way that we’ll ever be able to truly gaze upon these wonderful gifts is to slow down and take a look around.
Being aware of His loving-kindness around me, and seeking to love more slowly helps me to have a grateful heart. When I am rushing around I start losing “feeling.” My senses start to fade, and I do not see as clearly. My momentum is literally keeping my eyes on myself, instead of my Maker. May we join together in constantly practicing His presence, looking for His hand in all things.
When our souls lay deep down into grace, we wake up to freedom. You are free to rest.