A Place of Rest

Yesterday was leaf-raking day at the Benson house. We raked leaves, blew leaves, hauled leaves… and then stood and watched more leaves fall to the ground. Grrr. The yard looked great. For about twelve hours. This morning, it’s hard to tell we did anything yesterday. There will be another leaf-raking day in our near future. It will be the day the very last leaf falls from the trees around our house and not one day sooner.

Very few things I do seem to stay done. Laundry, dishes, etc. Once done, most things need to be done again pretty soon. It’s a vicious cycle. Take the handrails on my front porch. They are white, or at least they are supposed to be. Didn’t I just bleach those recently?

There is very little rest for the weary. I had a friend who once said she’d rest when she was dead. That’s just how it is sometimes. We burn the candle at both ends only to find we are no brighter for it.

Still, there are things that must be done, and done again, and again, and again. How many times must I tell my kids to clean up their rooms? Apparently, at least one more time.  How many times must I forgive, try, love, encourage, scold, or plead?

We get tired, both mentally and physically, of continuing to put one foot in front of the other. We’d like to take a mental health day, but who has time?

You do.

Think about it. If the Creator of the universe made time for rest, so then should we. Are you saying you are busier than God? If you think you could possibly be busier than God, you are way.. too.. busy.

Sabbath. Tim Keller says this about Sabbath:

According to the Bible, it is about more than just taking time off. After creating the world, God looked around and saw that “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God did not just cease from his labor; he stopped and enjoyed what he had made. What does this mean for us? We need to stop to enjoy God, to enjoy his creation, to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The whole point of Sabbath is joy in what God has done.”

As Christians, our Sabbath day is on Sunday, or the Lord’s Day. We rest first, before work. We worship first, on the first day of the week, not on the last. But Sabbath means “rest”, and we are not to ignore this rest. Sometimes we have to get creative with finding our Sabbath. For those in ministry, Sunday is hardly a day of rest. It is a workday. So ministers have to get creative in finding their rest.

So do moms. Whether or not a mother works outside the home, there is really no off day for us moms, and yet we are called to have one. So what do we do? We have to learn to say no. Remember Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs? It wasn’t very effective in the war on drugs, but the principle is still valid. We have permission from the very God of hosts to say “No” in order to find our Sabbath. What can you say “No” to this week that would open up some Sabbath time for you?

Maybe we can’t escape for a whole day a week, but we can take mini-escapes all week.

Perhaps a sign on your bedroom door that says:

       For The Next Thirty Minutes Knock Only If:

  1.     Someone is bleeding… badly
  2.     The house is on fire… and you can’t find the fire extinguisher
  3.     We won the Clearing House Sweepstakes or the Lottery

The Lord knew that we would need this rest. God did not need the rest, but he set the example for us to follow. Are we going to be obedient in this or not? If we are, we will be better wives, mothers, daughters, friends, and employees. And don’t the people we love most deserve the best us?

So what do you think?

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