Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (ESV)
I am sitting down with a fresh cup of coffee and my brightly colored pens to arrange my plans for the month ahead. I am a list maker. I have a large calendar with huge blocks filled with eye-catching multi-colored commitments. I don’t want to miss anything I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to miss anywhere I’m supposed to be. I can juggle and plan like a pro but sometimes I am juggling and planning to the point that my list needs a list of its own. Sometimes my calendar keeps me focused and on track; sometimes it is so overwhelming that I want to give up before I even start. Sometimes the bright colors give me motivation; sometimes the very sight of so many colors makes me weary. Sometimes I can’t keep up. Sometimes I just can’t juggle it all. Jessica Turner said, “Caring for ourselves and pursuing our passions is part of becoming who God created us to be.” I agree with her but also know that I can get so busy helping others with pursuing their passions that I am too exhausted to even know, much less pursue, what my passions might be. Psalm 23:2 says that the shepherd makes His sheep lie down (KJV). He makes them lie down because He knows that they need to rest mind and body. Judith Hanson Lasater said, “Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.” I know that there are times when I allow the busyness of life to devour my days until there is no time to relax and renew, no time to rest and be refreshed in God’s presence, no time to hear God’s plan for what He created me to be. Lucille Zimmerman summed it all up she said, “Humans may be social beings, but solitude has been shown to have great social value. Jesus was a great healer and teacher, but He took time to rest and pray. Solitude is essential for our spiritual experience – it is where we hear the still small voice.” Jesus, I follow You in the work but help me to also follow You in the rest. The multi-colored words on my calendar are not there to impress others but are tools to help me focus and stay on task. The pretty colors are not there to impress but what they represent is meant to impress. Galatians 1:10 asks me who I am trying to impress, men or God, and I know that sometimes my honest answer would not be the best answer. Lord, I read Matthew 11:28-29 and know that You are telling me to look to You for productive rest, to look to You instead of to my calendar for my direction, to look to You.