A Time to Rest
A wise old preacher once said, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). Without doubt that includes a time for rest. Jesus once told His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31). Notice the “when” of His command – while “many were coming and going.” When do we need to recharge our batteries the most? It is while we are surrounded by people in great physical and spiritual need.
Vance Havner once told the story about two men who discovered their home towns were fairly close to each other. One of them said, “You know, I used to visit your town once a week when I drove a horse and buggy. It took me a while day to get there and back, but I enjoyed it. Now I can get there in half an hour by car, but I don’t have the time.” Are we using our time wisely? All of it? We all have exactly the same amount of time – 24 hours in every day. The important thing is how we use it. And we should consider leisure time as part of our stewardship responsibility before God.
Are we good stewards of our time when we spend night after night allowing a one-eyed god bathe our minds from 7:00 till 11:00? The Internet can become no less a subtle dictator, giving us so little of what is truly worthwhile and beneficial in return. If we sit at a desk all day it would be less than wise to do nothing more than sink into an armchair during our time off. “Rest” in that circumstance might mean a little physical activity. Nor is there anything wrong with enjoying a “day off” that includes a time for sensible change. For example, all around us in America are many famous places (and some not so famous) that help us step back and remember that history is “His story.” To stand at the base of Mount Rushmore, or under the shadow of the “Clump of Trees” at Gettysburg, or at the spot in Texas where the defenders of the Alamo made their last stand, always fills me with a tingling knowledge that my own life is something more than a disconnected accident.
Let us, then, look on leisure as something the Lord God gives us to enrich our lives. Plan it sensibly – then enjoy it! By any reckoning, hyper-activity is pseudo-Christianity. That being so, our Lord’s words to His disciples need to be heard loud and clear, and heeded here and now:
“Come away … and rest for a while.”
October 27, 2006
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.