Eugene Peterson, who wrote The Message version of the Bible, puts the verse this way: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”
Do these words bring tears to your eyes? Do you feel a deep ache at the thought of a “real rest”? Yet rest is not a luxury. It is an essential part of our make-up. If we don’t rest voluntarily, we will become ill—and rest will be forced upon us.
Have you ever stopped to read a book and been consumed by guilt? Do you sometimes sit down with a cup of your favourite beverage and gulp it down before anyone sees you? Have you switched your PC screen for a “quick game” of Solitaire, which may not have been all that quick after all? Do you sometimes want to scream at yet another interruption from those demanding children? (Yes, those same ones you wanted so badly and love so dearly!)
My friend, don’t succumb to the lies from Satan, “If you stop work and take a rest during the day, you are weak and lazy,” he’ll tell you. “What will people think if they see you taking a break?” “A whole day off? Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t afford to take time out.”
God, the Almighty Creator, needed rest. He worked for six days—then he took a whole day’s break. If God needed time out, I guess I do too. And you.
Sydney Harris said, The best time to relax is exactly when you do not have the time for it.
My challenge for you right now is, choose a period of time, or even an entire day, out of the next seven days, and mark it off on your diary or your calendar as “Time Out for Me!” And then stick to it. You’ll be surprised. The world won’t stop turning. You will return to your writing, your work or your family situation with more enthusiasm and inspiration. God took time out. He expects nothing less from us, His children.
Do you wake up each morning and wonder
Why your life seems to keep spinning by?
At the end of the day when the house becomes still
Do you fall into bed with a sigh?
Do you long for the days when your time was your own?
Then feel guilty for thinking that way?
They’re your children, they’re precious, you do love them so,
Yet they need you each second, all day.
Do you wonder if God feels that way when you call?
If He ceases to care what you do?
Well my friend, that’s the wonder, He’s always right there,
He never takes time-out from you.
©Shirley M. Corder 2006