Posted on 03 February 2011.
by: Pastor Barry Briggs
The Springs Church
135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs
If someone were to ask you how work is going, or what you’ve been up to, what would you say? If you’re like me, you would probably say you’ve been “really busy.” It sounds better to say that you’ve been keeping busy than to say you’re doing nothing, right? We think it’s a good thing to be busy. And so, whether we like it or not, whether it’s good for us or not, we keep ourselves constantly busy. We juggle the relentless demands of our career, family, marriage, church, relationships, health, chores, activities, finances, and just plain life! We work long and hard hours, hurry home to chauffeur our kids around from one activity to another, grab dinner on the road, and on the weekends we do our best to attend church.
Why do we do it?
Busyness makes us feel important. If we’re busy, we must be needed. People depend on us. We are working hard for God. We have this idea that busyness leads to godliness. Guess what? It doesn’t! If anything, busyness leads to emptiness.
Have you ever noticed how electronic gadgets do bizarre things when their batteries are low? I had a Chevy Corsica once that had an old battery that needed to be replaced and it caused the power door locks to lock and unlock randomly. It just didn’t make sense. The whole car seemed to be short-circuiting. And so it is with life. When our batteries are low, we do bizarre things, we get easily frustrated, and irritable.
Let me ask you, do you feel tired? Worn out? Burned out? Stressed Out? Are you running on empty? If so, Jesus has an invitation for you today. He says, “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, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT).
Jesus understands our need for rest because He personally knows what it is like to lead a demanding life. All day long people sought His attention, advice, and help. The Bible says that one time Jesus and His disciples where so busy going here and there, helping people, and everything else, that they didn’t even have time to eat. Sound like your life sometimes? When Jesus noticed what was happening He said to His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NIV).
If you’re too busy that you don’t have time to sit down and eat, something needs to change. God wants you to get some rest. He designed you in a way that requires it. It’s ok to spend time recharging your batteries.
The problem is, if you’re like me you start feeling guilty when you take time off. When I try to relax my mind keeps returning to all the important, urgent, “spiritual” things I think I should be doing!
I’ve had to learn to follow God’s advice in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God” (KJV).
The truth is, slowing down and getting some rest is one of the most spiritual things you can do! Rest is Jesus’ gift to us. I wonder what sort of spiritual blessings we miss out on when we refuse to rest.
A busy life is not necessarily a productive life. Jesus came to give you an abundant life, not a busy life–there’s a difference. If you’re feeling extra busy right now, then now is when you need rest the most. The best time to rest is when you don’t have time to rest! Don’t feel guilty about it. Taking time to rest is spiritual obedience. Getting some much overdue rest will energize your devotional time, focus your prayer time, improve your work time, and prolong your lifetime!
So take time to relax and enjoy life. This weekend go away with Christ to a quiet place and rest for a while. Consider taking a nap, or sleeping in, or going to bed early. It may just be the most spiritual thing you will do for yourself all week.