Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finding Rest – Part 2

For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors with under the sun? For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile. (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)

"Come ... all who are weary and heavy-laden,”   Matthew 11:28a
Jesus’ call is to a specific group of people who are aware of their weariness.  What signals does your body send to you, telling you it’s time to slow down and rest?  How well do you listen?  Do you know the signs of fatigue and do you heed them?  We need rest just as we need air, water and food to survive. The fact is when we fail to rest fully and deeply, we not only hurt ourselves, we run the risk of hurting others.  

In The Twenty Four Hour Society, Martin Moore-Ede says:  Our most notorious industrial accidents in recent years—Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the fatal navigational error of Korean Air Lines 007—all occurred in the middle of the night. When the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian A300 airbus killing all 290 people aboard, fatigue-stressed operators in the high-tech Combat Information Center on the carrier misinterpreted radar data and repeatedly told their captain the jet was descending as if to attack when in fact the airliner remained on a normal flight path. In the Challenger space shuttle disaster, key NASA officials made the ill-fated decision to go ahead with the launch after working twenty hours straight and getting only two to three hours of sleep the night before. Their error in judgment cost the lives of seven astronauts and nearly killed the U.S. space program. We ignore our need for rest and renewal at the peril of others and ourselves.

Life makes us tired.  The demands from family, friends, work, church, and even ourselves keep us constantly in “catch-up” mode.  We are often just like the basset hound named Tattoo in the following story.

Some time ago, a newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, carried the story of Tattoo, the basset hound.  Tattoo didn’t intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut his leash in the car door and took off with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice.  A motorcycle officer named Terry Filbert noticed a passing vehicle with something that appeared to be dragging behind it.  As he passed the vehicle, he saw the object was a basset hound on a leash.  "He was picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could," said Filbert.  He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued, but not before the dog reached a speed of twenty-five miles per hour, and rolled over several times. What a sight that must have been!  Poor dog!!  (The dog was fine but asked not to go out for an evening walk for a long time.)

There are too many of us whose days are marked by "picking them up and putting them down as fast as we can."  At some point we must do more than just moan and groan about being tired, we must confess it to Christ.  You see, we can become so tired “in” life that we become tired “of” life.  It is no longer our body that is tired; it is our soul and our spirit as well. 

Mark writes, In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and *said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." Mark 1:35-37  No, you see, if you are going to find rest you cannot wait on someone to recognize your need and stop their demands.  They may encourage you to stop what you are doing for others but not them.  This call from Christ is yours to answer.  Jesus says, “Hey!  If you are worn out from your burden, come over here to Me.”

Scripture to Claim:

There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and to enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God's hand.  For who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?  Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

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