There are reoccurring themes in life, things that God repeats in His ever-patient way, and it does me good to stop and reflect on them. Especially those times when I hear something on the radio, then read it a random book, later I find it in scripture, and then again on a blogpost. Lately it's been this:
Teaching from a place of rest.
Parenting from a place of rest.
Serving from a place of rest.
Living from a place of rest and security, instead of anxiety and worry.
Writing things out helps me process and is really one of the best ways I've found to truly understand something - so I write not from a place of expertise, but as an adventure of figuring it out as I go.
I hope by the end I'll have a better grasp.
Beauty is important.
Efficiency is good, but true beauty lasts so much longer than multi-tasked items on your list.
Beauty is a quality that speaks to me about rest more than any other. Jesus' words in Matthew 11 are about the beautiful, the lowly and gentle, the rest that comes from being in the yoke of Christ.
All you who labor and are heavy laden.
The heavy-weighted burden of working hard for a better life, the shoulders laden with an exhaustion that rule-making and keeping and following brings, and the slogging through a life that is meant to be seen for beauty, all of those burdens we are invited to dump at the feet of Jesus.
I will give you rest.
Not a better set of rules. Not 12 steps to live by. Not just margin at the edges of what keeps you busy. Jesus offers a rest through life in Him that doesn't guarantee all the stresses of a normal life won't afflict you, but rather, a rest that puts all that matters securely in His hands and perspective.
The greatest crime of busy-ness may be that it keeps us from seeing what is beautiful in our everyday life. It sucks up so much of our imaginative power to be busy beyond the point of rest - real, fruitful, mind and spirit refreshing rest - that we lose sight of the gift of beauty God has given each of us.
It takes imagination, and we are too busy for that.
Sloth is... a busy-ness that veils us from the difficulty of actually thinking about what our purpose is.
- Andrew Kern, Teaching from a State of Rest
Come. To. Me.
It's an invitation into a life of rest, where we work the works He has prepared beforehand and in them, find rest.
I am gentle and lowly in heart.
And did Jesus not have the whole weight of the world on His shoulders? Did He not have reason to be heavy laden, to be overwhelmed with the labor of birthing righteousness into a world of sin and rules and burdens that never brought us peace?
And still He was gentle and lowly in heart.
I don't think He sets an example that is out of reach to us. I know we are mere mortals, but He, being fully God, offers to teach us from a place of gentleness and tenderness.
Whatever His yoke may be, His invitation in it is to learn from Him and He assures us His gentle guidance and tender mercies.
Rest for your souls.
I just need to breathe that in.
Exhale the heavy burdens you carry in your soul and think about the rest He has already given you there, if you are in Christ.
SOUL || the seat of the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires
Jesus offers a rest in the deepest place. In the calloused-over and hidden parts, He offers to release us from the burdens we struggle to carry because we feel like we need to try harder, work harder, and fret more.
How does the rest that Jesus offers translate to our parenting? Our teaching? Our serving?
No really - I'm asking. I'm not finished with this and your thoughts and insights are part of the reason for this public 'adventure' of writing to figure out what I believe. So chime in, if you feel so inclined.
Adventures are better with friends.