...a safe place to pursue a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Gratitude of Rest

I am a doer.

I like working hard—being challenged both mentally and physically.

I like getting things done. I like the satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do list—yes, the actual act of crossing them off; I have been known when completing a task that is not on my to-do list to add it, so I can then cross it off. I especially like things like mowing the yard where I can step back when the job is complete and see the results of my work.

Because of all this, I find myself doing a lot, moving almost without breath from one task to another, always diving into the challenge of learning to juggle just one more ball.

Lately, however, I have been feeling the growing compulsion to rest—really rest. Whether it’s a dear friend encouraging me to take an evening off or my own body sending out its hard to ignore complaints, it seems like from all directions I am being guided to more purposefully integrate regular times of rest into my life. Even in my quiet time, passages like Matthew 11:28-30 seem to almost be haunting me.

This week I get a five day weekend for Thanksgiving break, and I have been very excited about all the many things I will be able to do with this extra time off. But repeatedly I have reminders from unexpected places of this challenge to rest.

This past week something struck me about my push to always be getting stuff done. My resistance to rest is really an act of ungratefulness. To not be willing to stop and live in the space God has blessed me with, but instead to constantly be driven to push forward into something else, is the child who is only interested in unwrapping the next present with no care of the 20 amazing gifts in their wake.

Perhaps a better way of expressing this is that taking the time to purposefully rest is an expression of gratitude, a living prayer that express that the life we have and the people we have it with are such a great blessing that we can contently rest in them with no need push through them or change them.

As a community we have been very busy with many tasks from Meals-A-Million to relocating our primary gathering space. The work has given us opportunity to do life together and deepen our relationships. Despite what has been done, there is more to do and plans on how we can change things for the better. There always will be.

And, as Steve has said, the Kingdom of God is about doing. More specifically, the Kingdom of God is about doing the work of reconciliation by living a life of self-sacrificing love. I have always appreciated that our community embraces Kingdom work so readily.

I pray for Christian Community that we will be able to rest in the space God has blessed us with as a purposeful act of gratitude and in so doing allow God’s Spirit to equip us for this future work.

I pray for you that you may find some space in your week to express gratitude by resting in the present moment with the people God has blessed you with. Please pray this for me, too.