Rest To Sharpen

Summer is coming to an end and school has returned. If you were like me you are wondering if time goes into a speed warp the older you get. Some of you are thinking, “He has no clue, wait until your 50+!” Well, I’m not there yet but I know that the more you do with activities and agendas increases the need to set periods of rest and reflection into your life. To keep busy without any sort of break is a form of neglect, a recipe for burnout and in a word – sinful. God calls us to pause to recognize who He is and where He is going, that we may know and follow. Listen to these words in Scripture:

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:8

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus withdrew to solitary places to be alone with God many times in his life (Matthew 4:1, 14:13; Luke 9:10, John 6:15, John 17).

Following God’s words to rest and reflect is not being lazy or unproductive. It in fact amplifies your work. It’s like the 2 lumberjacks who were steadily chopping wood with their axes. One never stopped and kept working to chop down trees. The other stopped every couple hours to sharpen his axe. Guess which one chopped down more trees. The one who stopped to sharpen his axe!

Some thoughts to consider…
– When is the last time you spent time without your television, cell phone (crackberry) and ipod and truly spent time investing in the relationships around you for a day/weekend or more?

– When is the last time you read your Bible to know God; not for information (head knowledge) or seeking an answer to life circumstance, but just to know, pursue and gaze at the wonder of Jesus?

– What are 10 things for which you are grateful? Identify and list these things. Choose 3-5 of these to specifically and practically express your appreciation for them (ex. write a note or call someone to thank and tell what they mean to you, return a favor or bless someone with a gift, etc.).

– What motivates, excites, and thrills you the most? Identify and list these things and brainstorm with some others for ways you can utilize these passions to spread the fame of God and encourage others.

– What disappoints and drains you the most? Identify and list these things and brainstorm with others ways you can stop doing these things or perhaps delegate them to someone else.

– What is God saying to you through reading this message and His Scriptures? Are there any changes that need to be made in your life; positive or negative? Where is God at work in and around you? Will you obey Him?

Enjoy your break, I did.

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