There are some who find it easy to rest and some who don’t – we all know which category a domestic cat falls into but what about you? Is it ‘time to rest’ or can you not find ‘time to rest’? Many of us struggle to be still and spend much of life busy chasing our tails and wonder where all the time has gone!
‘What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare’ – W H Davies
Why is it that when we are all given the same amount of time each day, some find it drags but others regularly run out of time? Many societies today are restless, full of driven people who feel compelled to keep up with every latest gadget, update and social media notification. Having no time to stand and stare, the stresses of their lives have an inward impact on their health and an outward impact on their relationships.
‘I am a restless person’ – Jenna-Louise Coleman
‘Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older’ – Hans Selye
‘Oh, my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways, And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low, I'm at home and at ease on a track that I know not, And restless and lost on a road that I know’ – Henry Lawson
Resting is a choice but it is also God’s chosen way for us. We are made in his image – he rested after creating us, he put the natural rhythms of work, rest and play in place, he knows we need sleep. Who was it who thought of the Sabbath day of rest? Who was it who invented the rest of Jubilee?
‘Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work’ – Ralph Marston
‘Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time’ – John Lubbock
Do your identify more with Mary or Martha? When Mary chooses not to be distracted by all the work but takes time out with the Lord, we can understand Martha getting agitated but there is a time to be still:
‘“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her”’ – Luke 10:41-42
All the chores do need to be done but there are times when you need to take time out and it’s important for your walk with God to do this. Knowing when is the key and choosing his rest is best.
‘“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”’ – Matthew 11:28-29
The Lord wants you to be still and to know him, whatever may be going on in your life, whatever the deadlines and demands pressing upon you. Let your choice be the same as David’s and give yourself some much-need space: ‘Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him’ – Psalm 62:5
Time to rest is time to be refreshed and maybe change your entire perspective.
TAGS – rest, stillness, peace, quiet, holiday, toil, work