Take a break from time to time
This week I’ve been on vacation camping with family and I’m reminded of why it’s so important to take a break from time to time. While the standing joke is that pastors only work on Sunday, reality is everyone needs to rest their bodies, mind and refresh their spirits. That’s an example we find in Jesus; in Mark 1:35 we read; “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
Jesus knew he needed time to connect in prayer, so he rose early and found a place of solitude and he prayed. He spent time in reflection, in bringing the burdens of his heart to the Father and he was refreshed.
When John the Baptist was beheaded and Jesus disciples were overwhelmed, Jesus made sure that they too had a time of rest. Mark 6:31-33 says; “And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.”
The ministry was so busy they were not even able to sit down for a meal. Maybe you can relate, you’re so busy you find yourself living on fast food and microwaved meals. Maybe you gobble your lunch while trying to multi-task and get just a little more done. As those made in the image of God, we need a time of rest, and when you rest you not only re-energize yourself but you actually follow the pattern God created for you.
The commandment simply says; “work six days and then rest”, but many try to make that simple pattern into a legalistic rule so they define what work is or demand that you rest. Jesus of course set it all straight when he said in Mark 2:27; “…The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” In other words the day of rest is a gift from God and not a rule to be mandated.
The reality of needing to get away from it all is so evident in our stress laden culture but even if we can’t take time away, there is a rest that not only refreshes your body but also your soul. Matthew 11:28 (Jesus said) “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Are you burdened by life?
Are you burned out in trying to find peace? In relationship with God (through Christ) there is what the bible calls, “peace that surpasses understanding.” That’s what the writer of Hebrews alludes to when he says; Hebrews 4:9-10 “…There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”
How do you enter this rest? How can you find the rest you need? As Jesus said; “Come to me”, so you come in faith, you trust him and he gives you amazing rest.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.