So it’s been a busy year…
The clock keeps ticking, and your calendar keeps filling up.
The work comes right up piling, and these kids, they’re growing taller by the day.
And yeah, for every sticky relationship that requires pruning, you feel like your heart could be shredded into a million pieces.
And for all the emotional messes you’ve committed, these too, they need constant mending, daily forgiving.
A year can feel so full, and yet so empty.
And then, there’s this —there’s you and me, and we keep on going. We keep running at neck-breaking speed to keep life continually rolling. We keep juggling multiple balls to keep none from falling.
And no matter what our bodies are telling us, we keep on pushing.
We disregard what our souls may be truly craving for and keep on cramming, hoping that if we somehow manage everything, we will somewhat succeed in all things.
But is being ‘keyed up’ the key to honestly ‘keep up’?
And does ‘busy’ equate to ‘success’, and should ‘stress’ be the norm of how life ought to be truly lived, fully played?
Sometimes you can run all you want, but your life will only burn on, if you allow your soul to not burn out.
I have read it once in the Scripture, how there’s a promise of rest for the people of God. An invitation for a deep soul-sabbath for an adrenaline junkie like me.
Here’s a place of enough, a place where you’re complete, a destination where all’s well with your soul in Christ.
Because coming to find your rest in God, you’ll find your place in life.
I was 35, we had flown back from an overseas trip, run seminars, and found ourselves caught right back up in the daily grind of life.
With a wink in his eye, and an outstretched arm, the husband looked at me, and whispered into my ear, “Time for a holiday?”.
He had me loading up the car, and we picked the kids straight up from school on a surprise getaway, a mini holiday.
So these kids came running on board with their gleeful laughter. And we set off to our own place of quietness, for the sake of our own soul vacation.
A holy-day – isn’t that what real holidays supposed to be? A place to be away from the hum-drum of life so that you can step on into the River of life? A time to find Him so you can stop checking your Facebook to bury your face in The Book?
I went plagued with inward darkness and returned home bright with Sabbath rest.
“Shall we play chasey, Mum?” my middle boy had asked, his face all grins and his eyes sparkling with wonder.
I hesitated. Between him and I, we spanned a world of recreation and responsibility. In a world heavy with reality, where is the simple refreshments for a play?
I’m lamenting over how short the time of the day really is, and how long the daily to-do list can be, and wonder, where’s the chance to pursue my real calling, my life’s destiny?
Life can at times find us picking up luggages that made travelling heavy, and journeying real troublesome. The soul can truly atrophy if the spirit does not keep aglow.
And busyness?, they can be our mask we wear for our significance, a sense of our identity.
Cramming your days real bad, you can crowd out a soul rich in God.
But the chance to savour Sabbath begins with slowing down and soaking up.
“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Hebrews 4:1)
I caught my boy’s dangling arms. Pulled him close into me and looked deep into his eyes. He writhed away in excitement. He was almost 6, and he’s got more to teach me on the lessons of life and laughter.
Play – isn’t that the bread and butter of childhood? That play is all work and life is all play?
The wind gently blowing over my face. I scanned over the field of open green. Here I’d like to carve our stones of remembrance. This is soul Sabbath for us. A time play and pray, because Sabbath is a rest from work and a rest in work.
Think for a moment: If you want a life that truly satisfies, you’ve got to work in six and shut down in one.
Yes, yes, you and I can all be adrenaline addicts in recovery. We don’t have to view all of life to be a case of emergencies. We don’t have to rely on stress to get us through the case.
I smiled at my boy. Opening up my arms, I embraced his dare.
Because being busy doesn’t equate to being productive, and constantly multitasking doesn’t mean you’re really fruitful…because when days are so rigidly controlled, relationships can be really compromised.
When you grind your teeth in the night ruminating over your worries, you won’t get to the place of worship.
And this is true success: in Christ you’re pre approved — You don’t have to compare how your pockets are doing and contrast how your kids are scoring – because thriving and enjoying God’s best comes with belief and not with strive.
In the age of Facebook and Google and Twitter, we can be so connected that we are truly disconnected. We can rush for instant feeds and forget to feed from the Tree.
But there is a place to step out of the state of stress and enter into a place of praise.
Jesus calls us today from loneliness to solitude… and leave behind the fear of being unknown, and the insecurity of not making your mark. Step off the fear of watching the world whirl on and feeling that you might be bypassed.
Because mixing the promises with faith mean keeping my eyes on God rather than the giants.
We can prosper if we build life on His Promises… Stake our faith on Christ who accomplished our salvation for us and confirms our end. When the end is our victory, we can work our life backward with confidence.
Because this is the bottom line: Take your rest in Christ, and you’ll find your place in life. Lose your peace in Christ, and you lose your presence in life. And a whole decade of exhaustion makes for a life that’s burning out instead of a legacy that’s burning on.
You don’t have to burn out, you can burn on.
It’s not about how we perform, but everything to do with how He’s pardoned.
A whole generation of Israelites didn’t make it because they didn’t believe it.
And the way to make it, is to deep believe in the goodness of God over your life.
So be quiet.
Be at rest.
To thrive you must not strive.
Take your rest in Christ and you’ll find your place in life.
When stress mounts, let your praise loose.
The corner of my eyes caught the glory. A yellow dandelion aglow in the field. She’s dancing with the breeze, she’s twirling with her dress. I felt a thousand bulbs alighting within me.
My husband acts silly and the children muck around funny on top of that old car.
You ain’t no grasshopper if you can set your vision from the valley, and possess the Land when you believe in His provision.
So, go, run with the kids and laugh silly with them.
You won’t fizzle out if you keep firing up.
You can achieve your God given destiny.
And when bigger isn’t necessarily better, and less is more, I know that Sabbath is working its way deep inside of me.