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Life’s Rhythm

February 23rd, 2009

“On the seventh day He rested from all His work.” Genesis 2:2 NIV

“While rest is the answer for weariness, it should not be thought weakness, but wisdom.”

My thoughts today consider “life’s rhythm.”

It is amazing how many people feel tired all the time. Is all tiredness from physical weariness? A nap or a good night’s rest can often take care of that. Exhaustion is not always in direct proportion to exertion. Feelings of exhaustion can come from less obvious sources also. There is mental tiredness from too many things that demand your thought or attention, or emotional tiredness from too much anxiety and worry. Worse still is spiritual weariness from a restless soul.

Just as busyness is not always productive, idleness does not cure tiredness. People soon tire of doing nothing. You were not created to only work, nor to remain idle.

Life has a rhythm – work and rest, activity and inactivity, productivity and replenishment. At creation, God Himself modeled the helpful and healthful rhythm of work and rest. See Genesis 2:2-3 NIV. Those are not always equal parts, but they certainly are equally important parts. Discover that rhythm and you will have all the strength and energy that you need. Ignore that and life doesn’t work as well for you, no matter how much you want or need it to do so.

Can you identify yourself with what the disciples must have felt? “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.'” Mark 6:31 NIV. Even though they were involved in good things, that was not enough to make it good for them.

Life will only change for you when you finally tire of being tired; then you will be willing to make the necessary changes for that to be different. I knew a man who was always busy, always going, always doing – and what he was doing and where he was going was right and good. A friend warned him of the potential harm of “burning the candle at both ends.” Without any hesitation, he responded by noting that at least he would burn twice as bright, to which his friend warned, “But you will only burn half as long!” I guess that really is the question, do you wish to shine twice as bright for a little while, or live and be productive twice as long.

While rest is the answer for weariness, it should not be thought weakness, but wisdom. When you most feel like you cannot afford to take time off, it is exactly the time that you cannot afford not to. An undeniable fact of today’s high stress, success driven society is burnout. The price is inestimable that is exacted on marriages, personal relationships, quality of life, and spiritual fulfillment. Don’t become a statistic.

This is Jesus’ advice, and I think that you can trust the Creator to know what works best with His creation. “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.'” Matt 11:28-30 NLT. When you are doing God’s work God’s way you will have God’s blessing.

My prayer today is that you keep pace with God, with neither hurry nor hesitation.

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