I will be the first to admit that I am pretty stubborn and I come by it pretty honestly. My dad, whom I deeply love and respect, has always been a man of strong work ethic and many times not knowing when to relax. He has gotten much better in his retirement (as currently he is in Florida getting ready for a cruise) but there were times growing up when he got pretty sick and finally shut down. We knew that if our dad wasn't going to work ... he was TRULY sick.
I am much like my dad. I try to push and push myself to keep going and to keep doing. However, I am starting to understand that we are not created to be constantly doing. Even God rested after creation. He knew that He needed to set the example as our Heavenly Father and take a break and enjoy the glory that was His creation. It is good!
I often am drawn back to the story of Mary and Martha. It is a very short portion of scripture, but the truth never ceases to amaze me. There are times as a pastor that you get so busy "doing" things for God and run around preparing for the Master that we forget to sit at the Master's feet and just soak in His presence. When asked by Martha about the lack of Mary's help and investment into serving Jesus, He simply responds with:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
Has our society forgotten what it is to sit at the Master's feet? I remember when I was growing up that Sundays were a day of rest. We never did much of anything on Sunday but go to church and relax. We celebrated the Sabbath and it was good. Then the stores open their doors and offices remained open and Sundays quickly became like every other day of the week.
I come back to the last few weeks of bed rest and recovering from the sickness. I truly believe that there comes times when God uses our bodies to slow us down. Sometimes it is a rude awakening when sick to realize that we have got so busy that we forget to rest. Other times, it can be a welcomed reminder to slow down and enjoy the journey of life. Every time, it is a reminder that we need to slow down and take time and rest our bodies so that we can recover and be ready to go when it is time to work. We need to create that balance of work and rest. If we work too much then our bodies shut down. If we don't work enough than nothing gets accomplished.
I encourage all of us, myself included, to find time this week to slow down and spend a day ... a Sabbath day ... a day of rest and just enjoy God's presence. May we sit at the Master's feet and choose “what is better, and it will not be taken away from [us].”