2014-02-20 - Downtime
Originally Published 2001-02-22
Ex 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy
R-e-s-t. It is the one word that seems to slip from the vocabularies of many people in the industrial world. Wireless phones, pagers and digital recorders make sure that it is possible to wring every minute out of every day. Sleep is what gets sandwiched into the off hours of life when exhaustion takes over. I can say that I for one an guilty of being a member of this group of time misers.
Rest includes sleeping and the odd nap if you have that much time. But rest is not exclusively sleep either. The world demands and indeed needs some of our attention. Bills must be paid, our daily jobs or chores must be attended to so that we have food on the table. God provides the means for us to support ourselves, and does want us to be a witness in these situations as well. But rest also includes personal quiet time and corporate worship. These should not be stress-filled events, but times of release and renewal. It is so very easy to be swept away by the cares and troubles of the world and allow those weeds to choke out the joy of our lives.
Ps 4:3-4 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
A few things to keep in mind. The first and foremost is that you are the steward of your time. If you allow something to crowd in and stay there in your schedule, it will. If you listen to the radio or music on the way home from work, try turning it off and sit in the silence. If your cellular phone or pager does not need to be on, turn it off. While driving does require attentiveness, a portion of your mind is freed up when it no longer has to take in the music. Take that extra slice of time and think through the day. Find the good things that God has done either for you or for others around you. They so often go unnoticed and unappreciated. By collecting these moments of quiet thoughtfulness and meditation, we collect the fuel for a heart of thanksgiving. From that heart flows joy and worship of a Lord that is intimately involved in our lives and cares about is deeply.
Ps 46:10-11 "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
Lord Jesus - give us hearts that long to find time to rest in Your presence in worship, praise and prayer for ourselves, our families and friends and the world that You love so much. In these times, our hearts are molded and conformed into the image of Your heart. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.