9.06.2005

Rest a While

While growing up my father often worked multiple jobs. He did this so that he could provide for his family, not so that we would become rich. He was keenly aware of the biblical truth that "if anyone will not work, neither let him eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Although I admired his wonderful work ethic, I often feared that he worked too much. Even his days off were filled with washing cars, cutting grass, and other draining activities. (This is not to say that he did not spend time with his family, because he was-and still is-a devoted husband and father.) My point is that he took very little time for rest and relaxation. I would often ask him, "Dad, when are you going to slow down and take a break?" He would usually respond by simply saying, "I'm fine. I'm not really tired." Now I find myself much like my father. I am a husband, father, youth pastor, and security officer. On my days off (if I can really call them that) I wash cars, cut grass, and do other draining activities. My wife and I often talk about how our days seemed to be "filled to the brim." Although I know that I should take time to relax, I find it extremely difficult to take a break. This difficulty arises because I know that there are so many things (other than taking a break) that I could be doing. But isn't this the problem? No matter how much I do, I can never accomplish all that needs to be completed. There will always be another youth to counsel, another homeless person to feed, another meeting to attend, and the list rambles onward to infinity. Yet, should we feel guilty if we ever desire to break away from the day-to-day endevours? I think not. On one occasion the apostles came to Jesus to report to Him about all that they had been doing in His name, and Jesus responds in the following way: "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). Mark goes on to explain why they needed to get away: "For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat." We must all realize that we need to go to "a lonely place and rest a while." This is not a purposeless rest; rather, it is a time to reconnect with our Savior. If we fail to follow our Lord's instruction and example (Mark 1:35), we must be prepared for the consequences of our disobedience. Let us not be so unwise as to neglect our Lord's command.

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