What is Rest?

Image courtesy of Fellowship of the Rich @ Flickr

I've been busy- so, so busy. It's been good busy, filled with friends, Bible study, the gym, getting to hang out with and/or babysit children (whom I love!), but it's still busy.

I have realized something I struggle with- I'm either busy, busy, busy, or doing nothing. I tend to think of busyness as worship, and laziness & time wasting (Facebook, The Sims 3, Hulu, blogs, and entertainment news on the web are my choice destinations to check out from life) as rest. My tendency of thought- well, or what it really is; what I BELIEVE- is sinful.

Now, don't get me wrong- busyness isn't inherently bad, if I'm busy doing things that are coming out of my relationship with Jesus. It's a joy to walk with friends through the hard things in their lives, to be supported as I'm starting to deal with incredibly painful parts of my past, and even to be a support to my husband by doing extra household chores that he normally does (i.e. laundry- yeah, I know I'm spoiled!) while he's in the middle of a super crazy month of work and school.

Likewise, it's not inherently sinful to do any of the things I listed as "time-wasting". I can choose to play a decent hour of Sims at some point and it could be a break that would be perfectly acceptable because my heart is desiring to worship God in all I do. What's not ok is my proclivity to get so busy that the second I don't have something scheduled I hide in entertainment because seeking Christ via his word or prayer feels like more work.

It all comes down to my heart- why do I do the things I do? What is my purpose in this moment? Am I living intentionally? Ultimately, in every moment, am I worshiping The Who (the creator God) or a what (a created thing, including people)?

I pray I would learn to find rest in Christ. I do not need to escape into nothingness, and not even necessarily clearing anything off of my schedule (at this point, anyway) will cause me to learn to rest. I desire to believe that relationship with the God who chases me down with his goodness and mercy is a place of great refuge, a place to be refilled so that as I pour my life out it's Jesus splashing all over everyone around me and not my own heart, because I am desperate for Jesus. Apart from him I am capable of such chaos and pain that you wouldn't believe me if I told you I had relationship with Christ.

I love the honesty of the Psalms, their complete and utter relevance to our lives; this part of Psalm 116 in particular stood out to me:

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
6 The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
9 I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

I want to rest in God, and walk in the land of the living, not hide from it and turn completely inward the second I think I'm able. Praise God that no matter how low I stoop his grace is always sufficient to save me from myself. The Father knows how to rest, Jesus modeled it in his life on earth, and I beseech the Holy Spirit to teach me how.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Tami. A reminder I myself run into, especially being overly busy and remember what it is for, what the heart is and then having "free" time I don't spend with the Lord because it is easier not to. I got out today on a hike walk with the Lord and it was fabulous. Thanks for all your words.