I think many of us think of this as another four letter word. We're too busy to rest. Resting is bad. It means you're not doing anything. Rest means you're sitting on the couch doing nothing when you should be playing outside or cleaning your bathroom or going to the aquarium because it's a free day. Rest means missed opportunity.
I have been struggling a lot with this concept lately. I am not naturally inclined to rest. I'm someone who likes to constantly be moving. I like to fill my days with things to do. I always have a to-do list that is two sided. I love a full calendar. If we have a day without any plans, I make plans by planning some sort of learning activity for the boys. A day with nothing to do, no structure is like a nightmare to me. But ever since I had kids, I've been learning that's not the way we were intended to live.
We were made to rest. In the Bible, God created the world in six days and then he rested. Do you think he rested because he was just too tired to do anything? NO!! He rested because it was good. He rested so that he could enjoy his creation. And if the Creator of the Universe can stop and take a day to rest, then who am I to say that I'm too busy to do the same? But that's exactly what I do when I decide to let my calendar rule my life instead of my God.
Our pastor just finished a two-part sermon, and I'm not sure if this is what our take-home was supposed to be or not, but I was struck again by how important that stopping to rest really is. He talked about how complicated our lives are. We think it's impossible to stop. And God just doesn't understand. This is the one instance when the Bible is just outdated. I mean, it was so much easier back in Bible times, right? They didn't have to deal with soccer games and birthday parties and yard work and grocery shopping and everything else that comes with our busy, complicated lives today. Things were just simpler. But that's just not true. They had their own struggles. Their own things vying for their attention, keeping them from resting. They, just like we, had to make the decision to stop and rest.
How do we do that? My pastor suggested that we seek first His Kingdom. He said that we need to learn how to make choices so that even a complicated world can be made simple. It's like we're telling God we're too busy to do what he wants us to do. How is that even possible?! If God has called us to something, how can we be too busy? Doesn't he know better than us what we should be doing? How much we can handle? Maybe the soccer games aren't as important as we think. Do you ever hear of an opportunity to serve and think, "I'd really like to do that, but I'm just too busy"? Do you ever feel like God is telling you to do something, maybe as simple as sending someone a card, but you ignore that feeling because you just don't have the time to do it? Doesn't that seem silly? How can you be too busy to do what God wants you to? We need to seek FIRST his Kingdom.
Maybe our decisions should resolve more around "God, is this what you want me to do?" and less around "This is how everyone else is doing it." I'm not trying to sound like I have it all together, or that I think this is easy. Trust me, I don't. This is something I struggle with daily. But that's not how I want to live my life. I want to seek FIRST. I want to set an example for my boys that shows we're never too busy to do what God wants us to. And that sometimes we make the decision to say no to something that is good so that later we can say yes to something that is better. I want to be focused on the things that truly matter, not fill my life with the things that don't. And I'm ready to start right now.