One day I was in line at the post office when a woman came in who knew someone else in line, and they started up a conversation.
The newcomer said, “How are you?” and her friend answered, “Oh we’re so busy”…and proceeded to list all her family’s activities. Then the other agreed and listed her family’s busy activities.
And I thought to myself — has busy-ness become our badge of validity? It’s what we all have in common, and what we all love to tell each other, but is this what makes us valuable or important — how busy we are? Sometimes, I think we’re too busy. Am I the only one?
DON’T WEAR YOURSELF OUT!
I once heard someone say, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Yeow. Selah.
I really do think it’s part of the enemy’s tactics in these last days to keep us so busy we don’t have time for the things of God. Keep us living life in our own strength, not in His. We often have so much going on that we have the attention span of a gnat and we are flat worn out.
God doesn’t want you to wear yourself out! Life is a marathon, not a dash — the victory goes to the ones who pace themselves — not the ones who go like crazy for a while and then collapse in a heap of exhaustion!
Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” God knows exactly what it takes to live as a human on this planet, and along with a whole bunch of other stuff, it takes consistent times of rest.
If Jesus rested while He was on earth, shouldn’t we rest? In Matthew 14:23 we see Him sending everyone away so He could rest and pray alone. In Mark 4 we see Him in a boat with the disciples in the middle of a storm — sleeping!
Apparently Jesus didn’t feel the need to minister to everyone in sight, either. In fact, He had no trouble leaving things undone. In John 5 we see Him at the Pool of Bethesda, healing one man — and then walking away! He was the Son of God — He could have healed every person in the place! But instead He was led by the Spirit, healed that one man, and left.
There’s just no rule that says we have to work until we drop. There will always be too much to do, and a lot of temptation to be busy. But it’s not all up to us. It’s up to us being led by the Spirit of God. And if we don’t get too busy, and we listen diligently to His voice, He will guide us to rest.
REST MAKES YOU MORE EFFECTIVE
Let’s face it, a well-rested you is of much more use to God, to your family, and to the people you minister to.
If you’re always tired, always under-rested, you’re not going to be capable of doing everything you need to get done. You’re going to make mistakes more readily, lose your temper, or miss opportunities. And you’ll probably get sick or break down along the way, which ends up taking more time in the long run.
Sometimes we don’t think we have time to rest — but if we don’t, we’ll pay for it in the end, spending even more time making up for it (in bed, or the doctor’s office, or a hospital, etc.).
It’s okay to rest and care for your mental and physical well being. In fact, it’s necessary and smart. We all know people who have “burned the candle at both ends” — and many times they end up burning out all together, either by quitting, sidelining themselves with serious damage to their health, or even going to heaven early.
I encourage you to get a good night’s rest, and also to schedule in some “down time” every day (you know if you don’t schedule it, it will get crowded out!). The most useful, effective life you can live is a balanced life — and that calls for rest.