A lot has been said about rest. I'm sure you could walk into a bookstore or surf Amazon and find a plethora of books on the subject. The problem is that hardly anyone rests. Why is that? I would submit to you that in the age of technology where information is coming at you 24 hours a day at the speed of thought, there is pressure to try to keep up with it. There is pressure to not be "out of the loop".
Do you remember mail? They call it snail mail now. Too slow.
Do you remember inter-office memos at work? Too slow.
Do you remember the fax machine? Too slow.
Do you remember email? Too slow.
Do you remember text messages? Too slow.
Do you remember IM/Skype? Too slow.
Do you remember picking up the phone and calling someone?
What if your call goes to voicemail?
You don't leave a voicemail.
You try another number or you keep calling your party's cell phone until they answer.
Where does it end? Microchips in our heads that allow us to connect at the thought-level with anyone in our contacts so we can speak directly into their brain? The amount of information and pressure coming down the pike is overwhelming and shows no sign of [s l o w i n g d o w n] anytime soon. How do you deal with it so you don't implode?
- Remember that you're expendable to all but a few people. I know that sounds really harsh, but if you're married or part of some kind of family, they need you more than the rest of the world does. They need you more than your company does. If you were to die under the stress of your life, your company would hire someone to replace you; probably within a week or so. However, your family would never (ever) be able to replace you.
- Turn it off. I have a hard time with this. I don't watch the news. I don't read the news. I read Facebook and Twitter all the time though. It's like an addiction. Now that I'm writing [almost] everyday, I check my stats to see if anyone is actually reading. This may be a problem for you, too. What are we going to do? Could I suggest that we have one hour a day and one day a week that we don't plug in to the outside? Maybe a "cell-phone-free" dinner and Saturday (or whatever your day off happens to be)? My wife is soooo going to call me on this hypocrisy. Turn it off. Shut it down. Relax.
- Enjoy the real rest purchased for you. The Bible has quite a lot to say about rest. In fact, I would submit that the issue of rest is one of the most important themes of the Bible. Read these quick passages and see what I mean:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength.
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
My friends, the call of Christ and the Gospel is not about rules or advice. The call of Christ and the Gospel is about rest.
When the work of creation was done, God said, "It is finished." Then, He rested.
When the work of salvation was done, Jesus said, "It is finished." Now we can rest.
Rest from the inflated expectations that we place on ourselves and others.
Rest from the need to try to earn our salvation.
Rest from doubt and fear that you don't measure up to others.
From the outside, the Gospel looks painfully narrow, but when you're yoked with Jesus, you'll be led to a green pasture, beside quiet waters where you can find rest.
Do you need rest?
You can have it in Jesus.
Fully bought and paid for.
Yoke up with him.
Find rest for your soul.