Posts Tagged ‘#mark6:31’

Rest Awhile

IMG_1234.JPGThe third week of September is coming to an end, and in just a few more days summer’s end.

We are all aware of the sun’s later arrival each morning and early departure each evening. As I sit at my computer there is rain falling, and the sky is dark and gray, like the winter months here in the Pacific Northwest.

We are, once again, slaves to calendars filled with good things, demanding things, obligatory things.

Children are requiring poster board, and more computer time to complete newly assigned projects and reports.

Date night moves away from the beach, and into the grocery stores, the Home Depot.

Exercise becomes something to schedule in as opposed to something that happens naturally when all of nature beckons us to come and play.

Awakening to a darkened room does not encourage the departure from the sheets, and their call to us to return seems to begin once the dinner dishes are put away.

There is hustle and bustle, and busy until your dizzy, and deprivation of sleep, sun and fresh air.

Overall, the fatigue of busyness has hit.

I am reminded of Mark 6:31,

“then Jesus said,
“let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
He said this because there were so many people coming and going
that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”

Jesus and his disciples were so very much in demand. People were wanting them night and day. Though they were fulfilling the purposes of their lives, for the greater good of the kingdom of God, their physical needs required replenishing and refreshing. And it was Jesus, himself, who suggested the temporary retreat from their work, and all of the demands connected with it.

If Jesus would put his purpose on hold for a rest, how much more do we mere mortals need to do the same.

Maybe, this weekend, we will each be moved to go off by ourselves, to a quiet place, and rest awhile.


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*A re-post from a year and a bit ago, and a reminder of the barrenness of a busy life, as the calendar begins to fill.

June + kids + church + school = busy … and I cannot wait to do a little bit of subtraction!

I have been longing for the end, counting down to the end, all the while it seems as though there are stretches of days when every time I open my email inbox there is another ‘end of year’ event to be attended.

Don’t get me wrong … I love celebrating year ends, graduations, retirements, partings and weddings! They are each, on their own, most delightful events to be invited to, to witness, to attend. It is when they come one after another, with no pause for refreshment, for refueling, that they begin to extinguish the candle of my days, making it too dim to see the light of blessing that each one is.

I yearn for refreshment … the kind that comes from being home from waking until sleeping (maybe even with a little sleeping in between), the kind that comes from not one phone ring, the kind that comes from just us five being home, with no knocks at the door, no invasions of anyone or anything from the ‘outside world’ … except maybe a parcel delivery … and not one with an invoice to be paid!

Socrates was right, the busy life can be barren … lifeless, empty. It can be life-sapping rather than life-giving. It can leave us with little to give.

We need Sabbath rest!

But, do we make that happen? Or do we constantly add more to fill our days (and nights), rather than make time to rec-r-ate?

In Psalm 39:6 we are given the reminder that, “all our busy rushing ends in nothing.”

Is there a barrenness to your busy schedule? Do you, like me, get to a point where the calendar is so full, you refuse to add any more to the daily boxes?

Barren means not reproducing, not productive, it is a ‘lack of’ …

Busy means active, occupied, it is ‘full of’ …

How can we be both busy and barren? How can we be both full of and have a lack of at the same time?

God, in His process of creation, chose rest a feature of the seven day week. One-seventh of life is intended for rest. And this is not just Old Testament theology, because in Mark 6:31, Jesus reminds us that busy needs to be balanced by rest, when he said to his disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

My you and I find the will to omit something from our calendars this week, and go to a deserted place, and rest a while … and become, once again ‘full of.’

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