Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Time to either dangerously push through or stop. I recently had to give up one of my favorite fun commitments to make room for another meaningful commitment. The caution light kept flashing, “Something’s gotta go.”
I know my relationship to tasks has always been troubled. Many times, I have prided myself on being able to “squeeze the blood out of time.” Not so anymore… I am at the age where it is time to savor things and enjoy what was missed in my prime time. Become Mary. Leave Martha behind. Sit at the feet of Jesus. Be and not do. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” (Psalm 37: 7a)
This is my rationale. I will always be a workaholic in my spirit. So, I’m still making a case for Martha. The “just do it” mentality. I still trade depth of sleep for length of sleep (and reason I only need 6 hours) and likewise trade depth of soul Sabbath for length of soul Sabbath, ignoring what I really need. Depth.
What I really need. The rest that comes from God sovereignly engineering my “goings.” The rest that comes from understanding that my identity is not found in my performance. The rest that comes from hearing Jesus say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) The rest that comes from Jesus’s finished work on the cross, where God imputed my sin to Him and His righteousness to me.
I found a deeply humbling message about rest. I’ve listened intently. Tim Keller delivered a sermon (October 22, 2015) called “Work and Rest” based upon Luke 6:1-11. Because of Jesus, I can be sure that I have been brought out of slavery and into a profound rest. It is a “day off” like none other. So, why would I keep insisting upon an existence that enslaves – by being too busy, over-committed, and unable to say “no?” Because I lapse into thinking that work defines me. I forget that Jesus defines me.
There’s a caution light here. Be cautious of trying to serve Christ without knowing Him. Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, October 3, devotional) challenges the reader to make sure that there is nothing standing between Jesus and us. Nothing. No appointments. No service. No ministry.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God…” Separate yourself from the lights and darknesses of the world. Go where there can be no interference. Where you can actually detect the caution lights flashing. Where the opinions of others can’t reach you. Where your own opinions can’t reach you. And know God.