Are you an A-lister? Anger, anxiety, antipathy, avarice, acrimony, aggression, arrogance and antagonism can be flooding your system now. Are you so afflicted you’ve become an alarmist, antisocial agitator who cannot adjust? You might have tried to change, or to pretend it isn’t there. But it only continues to besiege you. To think, most would agree that to love is better. But why is it so illusive? It almost always stresses us the more we care. Then we become easy prey to fear till we explode. In that case, hang in there. The answer is quite simple but sure, which makes it profound.
Why not enter rest ? Instead of trying to save the world, and speeding it up, it might be rest time for tired mind and body and scale back, all the way back to the Creator of rest. Let your pain bring you gain. Why not? Jesus invites saying “Come unto me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Most people don’t realize, God is serious about rest. The Hebrew word for rest is shabath. which means to cease working. The goal is to be refreshed, like recharging a battery Does it sound like Sabbath? After creating the world in six days, God rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath rest. That is why Jesus is called the Lord of Sabbath, the Master of Rest. So He instituted rest for man, but for their land, servants and animals too, while He takes care of the rest that are beyond our reach, like the skies and the universe. That means it is not yet the end of the world until He says so.
Indeed, the world does not rest on our shoulder. The weatherman knows that by heart. The solar radiation, change in the earth’s tilt, earth’s orbital distance from the sun, plus latitude, temperature, air pressure and amount of water are the combined major factors that influence weather. With that in mind, rather than loosing sleep worrying about the future of mankind, the future of your children, or feeling guilt over your carbon footprint, come back to our man-size occupation: Humans are to multiply and flourish, to till the ground, be good stewards of the earth and its inhabitants, especially the people in it, to grow in knowledge for it, and to walk humbly with His God.
To someone who insists on worrying and obsessing, rest becomes annoying. To have no appointments for the holiday or the weekend could even make one feel small, or guilty as if it is a failure. No amount of dollars or latte can lift a wilted fragile human spirit. Yet we are still more mindful of how we work, not how we rest. We make sure our work is well done, which is impossible when you are tattered and warped. We try to save enough to afford a more comfortable life. But we jam more work into our free time. Then we stop talking to each other, or go out to make friends because we’re busy on our phones. We are missing by a long shot, for our hurried rest has not even reached the inner soul, the mother of all rest.
How is our soul to find rest? Sabbath rest is something we do with Him and in Him. It does not mean emptying your mind , changing the pace, the scenery, or just sleeping away. These might help, but it is about filling yourself with Him. Quite unique, don’t you think?
One crucial factor affecting our rest is our heart’s condition. Interestingly, survey shows that compared to those who skipped, people who regularly worship on Sundays to fill their soul with Him during the pandemic scored higher in happiness and are more mentally fit.
The command to rest means we can choose to stop and are enabled to stop if we accept the invitation. When even the sun seems to stop smiling at you and the moon loses its peaceful glow, you know you are spent. It may not be the best of times. But it’s not yet the worst. Relax. A long time ago, the rainbow first appeared in the sky to remind us that God will not use flood again to judge the world. But of course it is also a reminder that God will judge one day, just not with water, and just not yet. Every baby born is God’s message that He has not yet given up on mankind. Life will go on till we come to our final resting place. What kind of rest would you like that to have?
Simple Prayer: “Refresh me. Clean me and fill my cup Lord now with You” For seven day meditation: Ps 16:5, Ps 23:5, I Jn 5:11, John 3:15, Jer 29:13,John 6:47