The idea of rest seems greatly out of place in a world where meals are done in minutes and taken on the go so we can make it to the next thing… whatever that next thing may be. We bounce from one event or activity to the next in what seems like an attempt to squeeze everything possible into days that are just not long enough. Or maybe we’re trying to keep up with the neighbors and friends that seem to float through everything with ease. (They don’t, by the way, they’ve just figured out how to look like they do – for now.)
But rest is critical and we know it. We feel it. We flat out run out of steam and need to rejuvenate somehow. So we crank up the coffee and slam another energy drink in an attempt to churn our way through another 5 hours… but then what? We hype energy-shake-for-breakfast lifestyle home businesses and tell all our friends how much better we feel, until, ironically, we run out of steam (or friends to tell)… And we still feel worn out.
So the voices of wisdom advise us to take some time off. Refresh. Get away from it all.
Or maybe they tell us that we’re just doing too many things that drain us and we need to stop. Get rid of the energy vampires in our lives. Replace them with activities that energize!
But what if there’s more to it than the amount and type of activity we do? Then no amount of rearranging schedules and clearing itineraries will really work.
What if we feel all used up, because we’re missing the reason behind our frenetic pace? What if we could re-engage in a life of productivity by re-examing the purpose behind it all?
One of my students recently drew my attention to Jesus’ invitation to the weary in Matthew 11.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.
It’s incredible that immediately after offering rest, Jesus instructs the weary to link up with Him in a harness meant to get work done. Kingdom work. Heavy work. Make no mistake, there is rest for our souls. But it’s not found in the right activities or the absence of the wrong ones. It’s not found in a proper amount of down time or just checking out for a while.
It’s found when we join ourselves with Jesus in His work to advance the Kingdom of His Father and to put His love on full display. I have a suspicion that when we put ourselves to work fully for His purpose, His Spirit will fill us with all the rest and energy we’ll ever need.