So many things crowd out what is truly important in life. So often I drift along the busy, daily current of my life…being pushed and squeezed through the day by the duties and obligations put on me by myself, or others. Things pile up, I get distracted, I drop the ball, I’m late again. Life can get overwhelming.
Grace. Mercy. Rest. I need these gifts daily, sometimes hourly.
But where is time for stopping, for taking some deep breaths, for talking and listening to the Lord…for seeking mercy, grace and rest from Him? If I don’t intentionally take time for rest, time for contemplation, for conversations with God (and with my husband, family and friends), they remain just desires and don’t happen.
It seems like if nothing changes, our society will forget the value of these disciplines. I know I spend too much time connected to a screen of some sort. How about my kids, will they know the value of rest and stillness or how to un-plug from our constant stream of electronic in-put or from always going and doing?
Have we forgotten the lost art of contemplation? Dr. Archibald Hart, in his book Digital Invasion, says that we, as a society, ARE losing the ability to contemplate because our electronic lives are re-wiring our brains for “speed”. Imagine if the people of God lose the parts of their brain designed to contemplate? How does one pray and enjoy God’s presence without that ability?
Maybe it is time to be intentional about un-plugging for a full day, or at least a half day to start? Could taking a Sabbath or a fast in this way be a good idea for you to leave room for talking to and listening to the Lord , receiving that needed dose of grace, mercy and rest?
The book of Hebrews speaks of a special Sabbath-rest that we are called to enter: “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” (Heb. 4:1)
God’s REST is equated with the Promised Land, which a generation was not allowed to enter because of their unbelief. His REST is still offered to us, but we need to “make every effort” to step into it. Hebrews 4 concludes with, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Ahhhh…now THAT is what I need — Intentionally take time to be still or take a walk and enjoy His presence, receiving His much needed mercy, grace and rest.
The quote from St. Augustine echoes in my mind: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Mary Billings is an adopted daughter of The King, the wife of one man for 22 years, mom to two teenaged girls and one pre-teen son. She enjoys photography, day hikes, Ponderosa Pine trees, trimming her roses, learning about natural health and watching her son play basketball.