I’ve had to learn how to rest … it doesn’t come naturally. Don’t get me wrong, I can sleep in when I’m tired, but then the “guilties” sweep over me for time wasted or all the things I could have been doing. But real Rest, now that I’ve had to learn. Rest that isn’t about selfish indulgence, material comfort, or escape from pressure … but rest that is first of all a spiritual Gospel-rest that knows (most of the time) that I am His and He is mine. Rest that knows my identity isn’t found as preacher, administrator, counselor, or even dad/husband, simply child of God. It’s starting from that rest that I can now actually find emotional rest – the kind that doesn’t worry about what isn’t getting done, whether people think I’m being lazy or irresponsible, and what awaits my return. Now that actually feels good. Amazing thing is that in finding that spiritual and emotional rest, the physical rest comes … and actually I have now found that the physical rest is the lesser of the three. Oh how long it’s taken me to learn and experience this!
So, I recently got some rest. All three! Five days away with my wife … and some of my favorite things: lifelong friends, a beautiful location, a round of golf, some good meals out, and reading in the sun by the pool. Now to my point – when God provides that kind of prayerful, reflective, soul-full rest … God delightfully gives me all kinds of ideas, dreams, and vision for the future. I wrote about the next book study I will be preaching through (Micah), and about personal goals for the winter months. I had ideas for writing projects, community development partnerships, and family adventures. I dreamt about church planting movements in NE Ohio and N. Ethiopia, trips to Israel, and ways our church could influence school districts for the building of the family. I was busy … and it was so restful. If only a couple of those things come to fruition I’ll have changed the world (or at least my world). I dare say that only a cross-saturated, Jesus-loving, over-achiever could have that kind of rest. Thank you Father for restful rest, and thank you for productive rest. May I find that rest in the fullness of each day when the golf, sun, and meals out are gone.
For Your Rest,