I've found that most people don't think about their need for rest until they have abandoned making time for it in their lives and suffer the consequences. I've found this to be true for myself, and for those that I see around me. We are busy people, living busy lives, and while there is nothing wrong with being busy and fruitful, it is something different altogether when our busyness actually becomes a god in our lives. The problem happens when we bow down to the god of busyness, making sacrifices to it at the expense of worshipping the true God by enjoying his good gift of rest.
We see this in many ways in our lives: when we forsake sleep to finish that project, scroll on our phones into the wee hours of the night, or binge watch Netflix. We see this when it is unthinkable in or minds to take a rest, say "no" to doing something that is not a priority or unessential in our lives. We see this when we don't rest even when we're sick. We see this is the way that we move from one thing to the next without margin to breathe.
I was reading Psalm 127 this morning and it struck me how applicable this psalm is to work and rest, particularly the first two verses:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Unless the Lord does the building, our labor is in vain. We can't do anything apart from the Lord being in the labor. Ultimately, we can't do everything either. We are finite beings with clear boundaries placed on our lives, like our weakness in our flesh in needing sleep. In fact, humans spend a third of their lives sleeping. It's a humble reminder of our weakness in flesh and our dependence upon the Lord.
It's striking even in this psalm that the author reminds us that it is in vain that we rise early and stay up late, and being anxious because the Lord gives his beloved rest.
I don't often think about how the Lord has given me the good gift of rest and how that gift often comes in the form of sleep. It's a good gift that we should embrace far more than we consume the bread of anxious toil.
As busy people, let this psalm encourage you to take time to rest physically (in sleep, recreation, and refreshment), but ultimately take time to rest in the Lord's work. Even when we labor, unless the Lord labors, we labor in vain. So let's look to the Lord to be central in our labor and embrace his good gift of rest by making time for it.
October was a month full of life, events, and fall festivities for Brandon and I. It's one of the busiest months out of the year, but this year it was a sweet and full month. As a result, I wasn't able to write a 31 Day series this October as I usually do. You can see previous 31 Day series here. BUT ( spoiler alert) you can look forward to a new 31 day series starting January 2018. It's something that I've been thinking about for a while and I'm excited to share it with all of you soon.
I thought I would share a few favorite things from the interwebs that I stumbled upon in October. So without further ado, some link loving for your reading pleasure:
Rotted Fruit of the Urgent // Lore Ferguson Wilbert
We don't often think about our means of communication and the demands that they make upon us.
The Next Right Thing Podcast // Emily P. Freeman
If you're looking for something to listen to on your ride to work, while on a walk, or while washing dishes, might I encourage you to listen to this podcast by Emily P. Freeman. I've been listening to this podcast on decision making while washing dishes, and it has become one of my favorite rhythms of rest.
Enneagram Personality Assessment // Your Enneagram Coach
A friend shared with me about the Enneagram personality assessment, and I took, the test. Friends, I'm so surprised by this personality exam and the things I've been learning since taking it. I'm a 7 and it's fun learning more about what this means. Have any of you taken it before? What is your number? You can also take the exam for free through the link above.
iPhone iDentity: Smart Phone Use In a Tech-Saturdated Age // DiscpleMakers Fall Conference
A workshop from my ministry's fall student conference that I had the privilege to teach with a team. It's a collective of some of the things that My co-workers and Ihave been thinking through in terms of honoring God with our smartphones.
These are just a few of my favorites from October, and some photo favorites as well. God made fall such a beautiful season!
Shalom! I'm Madi, a laughter-loving, movie-going, spontaneous-dancing, follower of Christ. Join me as I seek glimpses of God's grace in the ordinary and everyday.
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