I’ve always thought of myself as laid back and relaxed. It’s my style. Yet, the pace of ministry is anything but laid back. There’s always one more need to fill, question to answer, or heart to mend. Lately, I’ve noticed that when people have approached me for help, they often begin by saying:
“I know you are busy but …”
I wonder if when I’m with people that I’m really with them? Is it their experience that I’m in a hurry to be somewhere else? I hope not, but I fear it is true.
Paul Tillich once observed that “the first duty of love is to listen.” If that is true, then I need to slow down long enough to listen. Is my heart centered and at rest or is it filled with clutter and worry?
These questions hit close to home, especially when I consider how much Jesus accomplished without ever being in a hurry. He made time for the woman at the well (John 4) and made a hurried and worried Martha slow down so she could experience His presence (Luke 10:38-42). He wants the same for us.
Like Martha, my heart is often restless and burdened. I need help from the one who promises to rest my hurried heart (Matt. 11).
Lord, today, help me to slow down and not run ahead. Help me to walk beside you and with others. Help me to tune into your presence, so that I might be fully present to others. Amen
Its early morning and I find myself with a dilemma. I’m tired. Instead of going to the gym to workout, I’d rather go back to bed. Even so, I throw on my hoodie, grab my gym bag, and head out. As the door closes behind me, I am reminded of one of life’s enduring truths.
Life is difficult.
I realize this is not an earth shattering insight, but it is an important one. I confess, certainly as a young person, but even now as an adult, I find this truth difficult to accept. Whether sports, graduate school, or important relationships, effort is required. Even so, there is a part of me that wants a world where things are not hard, where I’m taken care of, and where exhaustion never wins the day.
The Hebrew writer spoke of a day, and of a time when this kind of rest will be ours to enjoy (Hebrews. 4:13). It is the rest that Jesus promises to those who walk with Him. This side of heaven, we experience it in part, as live toward and yearn for the day when we will enjoy it fully and forever.
And so on mornings like this, when I would rather just stay in bed, and when I want life to be effortless and easy, I take comfort in the fact, that maybe its not laziness after all, but simply a longing for the rest that Jesus promises.
One day, things will be easy and without effort. But not today. And so as I face the day, God, please give me a measure of the rest I will one day enjoy in full.