Summer is here! Time for get-a-ways, vacations, trips, special outings, and delicious cookouts. Crank out the homemade ice cream and chill the watermelon. Fire up the grill and sit on the back porch. Wet a hook at the lake or journey to the mountains to drink hot coffee on a cool morning.
My family and I had the opportunity to spend some time away on Memorial Day weekend. Honestly, we didn’t do much; but what we did do was incredibly valuable. We had a great time of fellowship with family and friends, but more importantly, we rested.
Rest. If you are like me, the very word makes you uneasy. For Type-A personalities, workaholics, and driven individuals, the idea of or the opportunity for rest brings an uncomfortable feeling of guilt. We must realize that rest is more than idleness or laziness. Rest is a positive necessity. Even Jesus rested from tiring times of ministry, getting away from the crowds and retreating to a sacred place to meet with God. He also encouraged the apostles to do the same. “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’” (Mark 6:30-31)
Times of refueling and solitude are essential to the Christian life. Build into your life opportunities for rest and true relaxation. Turn off your cell phone and spend quality time talking and listening to God. Replace social media with personal conversations with others. You will be a better employee, spouse, parent, and servant of the King when you take advantage of this biblical principle.
The maximum number of pitches for a starting pitcher in the MLB is around 100. Even if he is throwing a no hitter, the manager may decide to pull his star pitcher to prevent injury. Rest for the pitcher’s arm and his future is more important than the potential of a career-ending injury. God’s desire is to use us to accomplish His purposes. So, listen to and watch for God’s signals. When you’re tired from work and life, lack energy, feel depleted, run-down, or burned out, obediently take time to rest. There are more innings to be pitched, and you’ll be more effective after you do. (Matt. 11:28)