Someone, somewhere started preaching the message that if we were balanced we would be happy. For years now I’ve tried to walk the tight rope, spinning my plates and striving to stay balanced. And can I be honest with you? I’m so over it.
I’m sure whoever started the “balance” message was well intentioned. I’m sure they were feeling stretched too thin, pulled in too many directions, run ragged. And in an effort to regain a little control went searching for balance.
The problem I see with “balance” is that I don’t really find Jesus setting that example for us. Jesus was extreme. When He fasted it wasn’t for a day or so, it was for 40 days. When He prayed He didn’t just recite nice poetic words, He sweated blood. When He loved He didn’t just love His friends, but the prostitute, the tax collector, the demonic. When He said He wanted to provide a way for us to be brought near to God He didn’t just invite us over for tea, He hung naked on a cross and took the burden of our sin.
Jesus was extreme. Fully engaged. Wholly immersed in every moment, every activity.
Recently I’ve been wrestling with the concept of “rest”. God commands us to rest. Yet, I don’t think I have any idea what it means to rest in God. Lazy? I’ve got that down. Rest? Not so much.
Today someone said to me that the purpose of rest is to be refreshed and renewed in His glory. Vegging on the couch is not rest. Getting my 8 hours of shut eye is not rest. It’s not about balancing work and leisure. Getting rest requires us to be purposeful. It’s a decision we make to position ourselves to really be with Jesus. Our rest should be extreme. Fully engaged. Without distraction. Enjoying Him.
My mentor has an amazing way of painting visual pictures of what my heart is wrestling with. She told me that a lot of times we find ourselves chasing after Jesus, running to keep up with Him, striving to be doing His will. Resting in Jesus, however, is like climbing on a sled and letting Jesus hold the rope. We’re still moving, still going with Him, still busy about His work. But like a little child tethered to a trustworthy dad we can simply enjoy the ride.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of running.
I think I’m ready to rest.