J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

No Rest for the Weary

rest stopBack in my college days, I spent my summers working at Camp Willow Run on Lake Gaston.  Those days were incredibly hot and incredibly long.  That was the time of life where you would joyfully work 16 hours days for 6 days a week for $100.  The staff would jokingly say to one another whenever someone got tired, “Go to the ant you sluggard.  Consider her ways and be wise.”  Proverbs 6:6.

Now, I do know a few folks today that don’t work very hard and that verse might be a proper rebuke, but the opposite problem is really more of what I see day in and day out.  Last week, I was discussing the breakneck pace of life with a friend.  Not restricting our conversation to Sabbath/Lord’s Day legalities, we talked about what rest looked like in the day to day.  It really is allusive.  Yes, in this rare season with baseball/football/basketball/hockey/Nascar all in play, I suppose one can find rest by sitting down in front of the TV for a while, but with laptops, iphones, and every other form of media constantly calling to us, is rest found even then?

But there is a rest, even a daily one more rhythmic to our lives than sleep that God intends for His children.  It is the rest of daily prayer and the reading of scripture.  Sadly, in the midst of our days, we have time to eat (barely), sleep (minimally), work (incredibly), but taking 30 minutes a day to pray and reflect is rare.  And because of its rarity, so much rest is missed.

I know that some folks seek to redeem their commute each day by praying in the car and listening to sermons which I think is much more valuable that AM political/sports radio dreck, but even those things are not restful.  They might fill our hearts and minds with the good instead of the distracting, but doing those things in the car or while doing something else is squeezing in time with God among so many other things.  There is an intended rest that God promises as His child sits in silence with his or her Bible and heart open that cannot be found anywhere else.

And so many miss out on that rest.  Bad habits, lack of discipline, harried schedules, and the need to be entertained all fight against sitting, reading, praying, and resting.  Until we grow in these disciplines, I fear so many of us will just remain fatigued.

Towards that end of finding rest, take a moment and read Psalm 116:1-9, and my prayer is that it will bring rest to your weary soul.

116:1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.  2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.  3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. 4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:  “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.  6 The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.  7 Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.  8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; 9 I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner.

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November 2, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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