A thoughtful approach to including rest in our lives
One of the first things I do when I get to the cottage is remove my watch. The minute I walk through the door, time becomes unimportant. We eat when we’re hungry, read till we fall asleep. We sit on the deck and listen to the birds with an early (or not so early) morning coffee.
The orderliness of time is imbedded in creation. Days of twenty-four hours, seven of which make a week, four weeks in a twenty-eight day cycle of the moon circling the earth. Hearts beat, harvests ripen, babies are birthed in harmony with God’s rhythm.
Work is necessary. It pays the mortgage, clothes the kids and puts food on the table. It also tends to dominate life. Even the volunteer work we do in church and community can control our lives to the point that we miss God’s rhythm of rest.
The cadence of our lives must include pauses. The soul craves time to think, relax, explore, to stare at the sky and get lost in its beauty, to listen to the earth’s sounds and consider how many generations have listened to those same sounds.
One word appears many times in the Psalms – Selah. It means “pause and calmly think of that.” David uses it at the end of profound statements. For example, Psalm 24:10 reads: Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah. This word tells the reader to stop and take in the rich meaning of the statement.
This holy intermission, Selah, allows the truth of God’s word to sink deep into our souls.
Is your life lacking Selah?
Take time to listen to your hair grow.
Consider how you can schedule pauses in your everyday activities. It may be taking a walk on the lunch hour instead of running errands, sitting by a river or tuning off all media and listening to the sound of silence. Enter into His restful rhythm and see what a difference it makes in your level of enjoyment.
Father, help me to pause and calmly think of You and everything that’s connected with You.
Rose McCormick Brandon is the author of Promises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children, One Good Word Makes all the Difference, He Loves Me Not He Loves Me and Vanished.
Combine the stuff below with it’s okay to no in church
Selwyn Hughes – I’ve learned to say no to some things so I can say yes to the main thing.
If you feel that you’re the answer to every plea that comes from the pulpit, you’re not living in God’s rhythm. Our true calling gets lost in feverish, non-stop church work.
Some work in the church because it gives them prestige and power. Some work for approval from the pastor and the people. Others work to gain ground with God. What should our motive be?
Romans 12:1,2 “Here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”
Sacrifices – including holy work of all kinds – will never bring us into God’s embrace. But laying our ordinary days on his altar and embracing what he does with them will draw us closer to God.
We’ve been programmed to associate worship with prayer, preaching, singing. But real worship encompasses all 24 hours of our ordinary days. Eugene Peterson “Worship is the style of life in which our bodies become living sacrifices offered up to God.” Page 1761 This life extends worship into home, work, neighourhood and leisure. (put this sentence in your own words)
If you don’t know your identity in Christ, you’ll always be driven by external forces rather than the movement of God’s Spirit in your heart. Our position? “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1:4,5
Is work keeping you distant from the people in your life you should be closest to? Are you working when you should be resting and nurturing your relationship with God and other people?
Mark Buchanan, in his book, The Rest of God, writes of a guy who lived life at full tilt, every minute of his day was earmarked. He rose early, worked a full day, went to the gym, made dinner dates with business connections, arrived home late, fell into bed and started over again the next day. Until a debilitating disease knocked him off his feet. Illness forced him to spend time with wife and children. He read more, prayed more, pondered more. He said at one point, “I know God is trying to get my attention. I just can’t figure out what He wants my attention for. He must want me to do something.” Mark replied, “Maybe that is the problem. You think God He wants your attention in order for you to do something. Maybe He just wants your attention.”
We try to hide ourselves from God and pay him off with work, sacrifice or money when what He really wants is for us to embrace what He does through our ordinary lives.