As I observe those of you in the church who are very busy and overwhelmed, I am extremely sympathetic. My schedule also gets busy and overwhelming. How do we do it? There is always another phone call to make, another e-mail to send, another article to read. At home the dishes pile up faster than we can wash them. There is always a load of laundry to be done, another bill to pay, a bathroom to clean. What we soon realize is that the work is never done.
As soon as one load of laundry is finished and the clothes are folded, then the next laundry basket is already half full of dirty clothes. So waiting until the work is done in order to rest may not be the answer because the fact is we would never rest if we waited for that to happen.
We can learn a little about working and resting from Genesis 1. There are several points in this creation account where God creates something and then considers it to be good. In Gen. 1:3-4 we read: “And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good.” And if we fast forward to the end of the sixth day in v. 31 we learn that God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And then God rested.
So the goal of rest isn’t something you do when everything is finished, but rather a time to take a break and to assess what you have done and to declare it as good. This perspective of rest allows us to assess what we have already done as we rest rather than to focus on what needs to be done. If we are constantly thinking about what needs to be done during our down time, it might not be much of a down time. If we have to wait until everything is done before we can take a break or a breather then burnout is not far behind.
The spring and summer seasons are quickly approaching. Hopefully, we will all have opportunities to rest and relax. And if we can rest out of a sense of satisfaction because of what we have done, even though we still have much yet to do, then rejuvenation will occur. Often when I awake in the morning, Pat will ask me if I rested well. As you continue to work hard, as many of you do, my wish is that you will find ways to rest well.