"You made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until it finds its place in you." Augustine
Augustine would make this a part of his daily prayers. Interesting that in this fast paced world that we live in, this world that we have pretty much everything at our disposal, that there is still one thing that trips us up and that is rest. Even with all of our technology and digital advancement, it is rest, that is still one of the most elusive things in our culture and in our lives. Rest, a four letter, simple, yet profound word, that we have for the most part neglected. Rest, something that we all need, yet try to get by without. Rest, the thing that God set in place that we all would need, but we try hard to deny. Rest, the thing that may be the wisest thing we could do to find, yet we act as though it is the weakest thing we could do. Most of us won't be active in seeking this rest out, until it is prescribed to us by a doctor or a counselor or some other trained professional. Interesting that the advancements made in society have not freed us up as much as they have in some sense burdened us more. Amazing how sovereign and omniscient God is, that from the beginning of time He knew we would struggle with rest, so much so that He not only commanded us to do it, but also gave us an example.
We read the creation story and we see that God created all things in 6 days and on the seventh He rest. God, the almighty, all consuming, all knowing, sufficient in Himself God, just chills. In a world that celebrates and cheers people for burning the candle at both ends, God would have us to remember that He instituted rest, because He knew we would need it. God does cheer our burn out, He would see it as yet another form of idol worship. It doesn't matter how gifted, how skilled, how awesome you may think you are, if you are cheating yourself of rest, you really are just building your life on sand and living on borrowed time, because eventually that lack of rest will catch up to you.
Tomorrow I enter into something I have never done before and that is take a sabbatical. I am looking forward to this time to step away from my position as an Elder and Teaching Pastor and just be. One of the hardest struggles in ministry at times is to not allow the doing to overshadow the becoming. I am grateful for this given time away to be renewed, refreshed and reacquainted with the importance of rest. I am looking forward to what God will do in me and through me during this time. Just another rambling, but I do pray we will find our rest in God, because the absence or failure of that can be quite detrimental to our souls and lives.
"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
For the last couple of years my wife and I have been navigating through the journey and world of Autism Spectrum Disorder as we have seen our son, Max, struggle and strive with it. There have been lots of low moments, tears, frustrations but also lots of victories and shouts of joy. Through it all we have seen the goodness and faithfulness of God. One of the things that autism has done for our family is, it has given us a new perspective on the importance of celebrating everything. The celebrations are milestones for us, they are reminders and markers of the goodness of God. We celebrated Max's first words which we thought would never come. We celebrated his first sight word, his first non-scripted conversation and the list goes on and on.
This past weekend we witnessed and celebrated his accomplishment over winning over his fear of water slides at Aquatica. Max was like a champ not just going down the water slide and plunging into the pool and exiting on his own, but even the fact of him standing in line waiting patiently for his turn is a crowning achievement. It was absolutely awesome to see his excitement and his joy. There are still many many miles for us to travel on this journey and many hurdles to overcome, but today I can rejoice that in it and through it all we can remain confident in the goodness and the grace of God, who never disappoints.
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26