Years ago I was invited to take a sailboat ride. It was awesome. When the breeze catches the sail its breath-taking. The captain/friend knew just what to move, open up or tie down. A couple of friends knew what to do, too, and it was like watching a beautiful sort of dance. We would catch the breeze and it pushed us forward across the water. At one point the wind went very still. I thought, “Oh no…what happens now?” For a short time we just lazily drifted, had a snack and talked about how beautiful the day was. A short while later the captain moved some sails and ropes and pretty soon we caught a breeze and off we went. It was so cool.
Our life is not unlike a sailboat ride. If we’re truly present for our life as we should be it will be a mix of working the sails or resting and enjoying the drift. A ride that is only about drifting can get us into deep trouble. We end up on the rocks or out to sea in danger. If we live battling the drift and are only always working the sails and the oars, then life is all work and without peace. A good sailboat ride offers that wonderful sense of gliding across the water as well as calmly resting while the boat drifts. Our best life has both accomplishment and rest in balance. The Bible talks a lot about the Sabbath. The concept is basically that in six days God created everything that exists, then rested. The point of a Sabbath (day off) is that our body, mind and spirit are renewed. We, superhuman as we are, seem to think that we can work hard at life 7 days a week, sometimes 24 hours a day. It’s not what we were built for and its not what life is to be. I’m not saying every day off must be restricted to laying around in pajamas and hoping your kids find enough food to keep from starving. Rather, what is it that fills your soul? If you love to surf why not go to the beach? If you enjoy a hike, or a nap or a book….why not? Now if you’re a parent I realize that your options are not so wide open. But what are you teaching your kids? Are you teaching them to be busy all the time and that accomplishments are the mark of success? How are you teaching them to exhale, to think and to experience even the simple things? For that matter, how are you teaching yourself what matters most?
Think about your day, week, month and year. Are you putting both rest and work into the mix? Are you learning to handle your jibs and masts and stuff as well as learning to rest and enjoy the drift? Floating is such a wonderful feeling…it renews the mind and soul if we will let it. Today’s encouragement is that you assess your agenda and make sure to find a healthy balance of work and rest, of doing for others and doing for yourself. You need both.
Psalm 116:7 Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.
Mark 2:27-28 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
Matthew 11:28-29 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Hebrews 4:10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.
Exodus 34:21 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.
Exodus 33:14 The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”
Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.
Exodus 31:15a You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the Lord.
Exodus 20:8 Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.