Rest is for the lazy, the low capacity, and the underachievers.
Rest is for those who have to stop because they can’t handle the busyness.
That couldn’t possibly be me because I LOVE the busy and rest makes me antsy.
Overwhelmed in ministry
Overwhelmed in routine
Overwhelmed by stories
Overwhelmed by the world
Theme word of my life. It's usually one of the first phrases in my journal or blog posts. It often comes out of my mouth right before the Ben and Jerry’s goes in. It flows through my prayers and into my questions.
A few times I wondered if that was normal, then I just accepted it. Busy and overwhelmed— that is life in America. End of story.
Then I heard a sermon that stirred my heart, but I pushed the idea of a sacred Sabbath rest out of my head because it seemed counter cultural and impossible.
I passed a book in the bookstore by a favorite author about Sabbath a few months ago. I picked it up.
The title, Breathe.
That must be nice, I thought. But who really has time for that?
I quickly left the bookstore empty handed, but wondered why my Sunday afternoons of laying on the couch did nothing for me on Monday morning.
I ran across this quote from a guest blogger on one of my favorite blogs:
For some, brackets of time alone on a park bench to journal the sights, sounds, and smells of a wide expanse in nature is an illustration of extravagant wastefulness. Or a lavish indulgence allotted those who are retired from work life.
That made so much sense to me. I feel the most alive and rested not after crashing on the couch, eating fast food, or watching TV, but when there is quiet. I rest when I truly connect with God. I rest when the buzzing of the phone, the ticking of the clock, and the nagging of the to do list are pushed aside.
I rest when my mind wanders as it is doing now with the pecks of my fingers on this keyboard letting the words go where they want and create what they may. For me, rest is letting go of all of the expectations and plans just for a little bit.
But I am the worst person to be talking about Sabbath.
I am absolutely terrible at it and have been for a long time.
I look around at so many who gladly accept this beautiful gift from God and enjoy it in every way he intended without the guilt or obligation or questions that tower over me.
But I am learning one tiny, tiny, tiny step at a time.
-- Antonyms for "unity."
The division, tribalism, and judgement are so prevalent this week. We don't need another political post or opinion or reason. However, I think there are some hearts longing for unity-- some hearts waiting to be brought together through prayer.
"I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
[ Ephesians 4:1-3 emphasis added ]
"Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice."
-Blue Letter Bible Definition
"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
[Ephesians 4:29-31 ]
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
[ Ephesians 4:32 ]
"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9
"But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (vs. 15 emphasis added)
There is unity in knowing God despite our political and social opinions.
We long to see people the way you see them, not grouped together by tribalism.
Help us remember what is truly important in this life.
Let us use our words, our influence, and our short time here on earth to bring light to the things that matter most.
This is not our home.
We seek to love rather than judge and ask questions rather than resent.
We seek to listen more.
Whether this week brings celebration or mourning or confusion or relief or fear-- may we show respect for the emotions it brings in others that we don't understand.
-- Synonyms for "unity."
I pray that we will seek unity.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
[ John 14:27 ]