21st Century life is the busy life. The making most of every moment. Expectations are high and sometimes relentless. Work is demanding. We try and cram as much life as possible into our lives. We add in alarm clocks and other devices to schedule our way to a fulfilled life. We can’t stop, sometimes won’t stop and we forget to slow down. We find it hard to schedule in rest across our days, weeks and months even.
Yet Jesus sees us pouring out, anxious to meet the myriad of expectations that come our way. He sees our hard efforts at work. He sees the countless times we are up to sick children, our helping out friends in need. He sees our serving in our churches and communities. And He has compassion and love for us.
And so, in amongst our busyness Jesus calls to us. Out of love and out of care, He says come with me and rest. We see that demonstrated by His concern for His disciples, when He would allow them to pull back from the multitude of people in need and rest.
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” ” (Mark 6:30-31)
If there is one thing we all need to add to our schedules, it is intentional rest. To have the deterimination to make space in our calendars for us to pause and be still. But the rest that Jesus calls us to is not just a rest doing nothing but rather one that beckons us to refocus our hearts, quiet our minds and enjoy the presence of God. It is a rest that allows space for God to restore our souls so we can embrace life with all that is in it.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
Life taught me a lesson this week! Well I hope I have learnt from it. My normal morning routine had a planned for change. Instead of the normal school run, I was taking my oldest to the Hospital for an appointment, an early one at that. It meant organising the other children to go to Grandparents and an earlier than normal departure from the house. This change in the morning routine was anticipated and planned for.
But then I struck car trouble. Precious time was spent trying to sort it out. Precious time was spent having to change cars. We had to rush. And in the rush a lunchbox was left behind. A phone call mid morning from the school alerted me to the fact that my 5 year old was without his lunchbox. So on my return home I collected the neglected lunchbox and popped into school to reunite son with it (accompanied by a note inside saying I’m sorry!)
The unexpected interruption had thrown my day. I’d gotten off course and the ramifications, not huge for me, were rather significant for a hungry 5 year old.
Interruptions in life happen and they can throw us off course, even temporarily. The lesson to be learnt, is that when bigger interruptions or hardship come our way that we don’t let them derail our relationship with God. That hardship doesn’t negatively impact our faith and that we are able to stay on course.
My boys have been vigilant for the rest of the week ensuring that they do collect their lunches, as have I!
Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
But He also said “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14) We are to reflect Jesus. We are to reveal Jesus. He has entrusted that to us. We are to let His presence be made manifest through us.
How? By reflecting His spirit, His peace, His favour, His provision when the world is under fear, recession, anxiety.
As we reflect the Spirit of Jesus we will be like a city on a hill drawing people through us to Jesus.
As you go through life today you can affect the atmosphere wherever you go. You are in Heaven and Heaven is in you. Take an opportunity or two and let Heaven out in the world around you.
Just as a light bulb needs to be connected to a power source to go, we need to make sure we remain plugged in to THE power source – Jesus. He empowers us to shine.
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