Disclaimer: The following is not anything that I have not said or written before, but I think it bears repeating…on a regular basis.
As school is in full swing and activities at church kick into high gear, a minister/mom needs to remind herself just who it is she claims to follow. Perhaps some of you who are neither ministers nor moms could use a reminder as well.
Scripture tells us that God rested on the Seventh day. The commandments, mind you, not the suggestions, but the commandments call on us to honor the Sabbath day and keep it Holy. But at the end of our six days our reserves are depleted, but we take no time to rest. That would only make us more anxious about everything that needs to be done. The Psalmist says “the Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and restores my soul,” and we say, “who has time to lay down?”
We are trying to do our best—for our families, our workplaces and ourselves. Sometimes we slip into the false notion that it’s completely up to us. We all too often believe that one more staff meeting, one more job, one more report, one more grant, one more social function, one more after-school activity, one more anything will be the key to putting our children, our families, our homes, our businesses/churches on the right track, and we will be loved and admired for our efforts. But it never seems to be enough, because there is always one more thing.
What does our lack of ability to rest say about our trust in an abundant God? At this point in my faith journey, I have come to believe that our lack of trust in God’s abundance, in God’s ability to work through us and in us and around is one of our greatest sins. Certainly one of the most damaging sins to our bodies, our relationships and our own sense of self worth. We spend our days trying to take the place of God, and it leaves us weary. More than weary. Absolutely exhausted.
So stop playing God. Lie down in green pastures and allow your soul to be restored. Come all you who are weak and heavy laden and find rest. Embrace the practice of Sabbath. Embrace an alternative lifestyle that seeks to be the people we were created to be and trusts in the abundance of the one who created us.
If you can do that, you will be changed.
If you can do that, your soul will sing
And once your soul sings, others will hear the song and they will dance
And when they dance, they, too will begin to sing
And before you know it there will be an entire community of people singing and dancing, free from anxiety and despair and exhaustion. A people who are living the abundant life God calls us all to live.
–Rev. Anne Russ