For any of us that have grown up in the church we’ve probably heard the ‘resting’ sermon a million times. We’ve been told that we should rest because even God thought it was necessary to rest on the seventh day. We’ve been told to respect the Sabbath. To not head in the direction of burn-out. We’ve been told to only do what matters and to learn how to say no. Heads would look up at the pastor with a slight tilt, sort of like my dog looks at me when he is confused; they are nodding at the same time agreeing with every word that he says yet at the same time a slight fear builds up within most of them. We are humans with jobs and families and who like to have fun and play around. We have responsibilities that need to be carried out and commitments that we can’t really say no to. I’ve definitely told people myself. Encouraging them to learn to say no and to take days off to just read and do nothing.
I have not learned this at all. I’m not sure what it is that stops me. Growing up in church I could probably point to all the possible answers. It could be that I’m prideful and I think no one else is doing their job and someone needs to so I’ll step in. It could be because I want people to see me doing stuff and to see me succeed. It could be that I’m looking to earn my love from God. It could be that I find worth and value for myself in what I do. I’m sure I could list off another ten reasons that any good Christian would tell me could be the reason. I don’t think those are them either.
In the past two weeks, the only form of rest I have is when I’m waiting for something to happen. It forces me to sit down for a few minutes or however long and not do anything. Even then I’ll grab a book, make food or check my msn list for something, anything to preoccupy me during the down time. Sometimes I go on walks, and I just sit there and do absolutely nothing except occasionally yell at my dog to stop pooping on the neighbor’s lawn. They are some of the greatest nights, it allows me to collect my thoughts, share them with God and just allow God to speak to me about and with anything.
I guess I need to look at Christ’s life more carefully. It seems that he got tired of people a lot, and needed to leave the crowds and go off by himself. Sometimes with his three closest friends, other times with only one but a lot of the times all by himself. Hopefully I can learn better to just stop. Stop thinking I’m so important and needed in all these different areas. “Stop thinking that serving God is a good substitute for a genuine relationship with him” (stole that from a convo with a recent friend). Stop. I just want to learn to stop. Stop chasing after activities, relationships, habits, programs, concepts and rituals that aren’t exactly bad in themselves but are when they pull me from connecting with Christ. So, I need to learn to stop. Stop. Stop.