R & R, I don’t have time for it.

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bee-on-flower-Pakhnyushchy-Shutterstock

Jeanne Guyons a 17th century author wrote, “bees can only draw juice from the flowers by resting on them not by flying around them”. That resonates with me as I believe in this modern age we feel guilty if we aren’t buzzing around, flitering from one activity to another. Most people can’t even put down their phone long enough to look up for a face to face conversation. It is a joke in the media how people stare at their phones, constantly checking social media or texting without knowing what is going on around them. A bee can not draw juice from the flower unless he rests on the flower.

We must learn to rest. I believe we need to build rest into our lives. Why do I use the word “build”? I use that word because it must be on purpose and you must choose to make time to rest. You may ask what does rest look like, what does it really mean to rest?R & R or rest and relaxation is more than just sleep. I am talking about stepping away from the serious parts of life, step back and have some fun. Get out and take a hike, take a day trip, or dance in the living room with your 6 year old. We must rest our minds from the crazy days. We must teach our children to yes, work hard for your dreams and goals but don’t lose the play and certainly don’t forget to rest. Learn to be with your loved ones. Something I learned from Tommy Barnett, a pastor in Phoenix, Arizona was to be 100% where ever you are. Give whatever you are doing, your complete attention. He said if he was at his boys ball game then he was 100% there. Then when he walked away if he took a call in his car then he was 100% with that person. He had 1000’s in his congregation but when he saw you, he always made you feel like you were the most important person. That was because he learned to be present 100% at that moment. That is a huge lesson and a lesson in rest. We should learn to be 100% at work, then walk away and be 100% with our family at dinner. Have you ever had coffee with a friend and walked away thinking I just feel so good right now? That’s rest. Did you ever play a silly game with your kids or grandkids, and laughed and had a silly good time? That’s rest. Did you ever ride your bike and even though you were sweating you thought I feel great? Do you sit in church and think, yes this is what I needed? Or quietly sit before the Lord and even though you didn’t say a word you feel fulfilled and loved? Rest and relaxation can be different things for different people. So what qualify’s as rest and relaxation?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary says this:

Definition of rest
  1. repose, sleep; specifically : a: bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities freedom from activity or labor b : a state of motionlessness or inactivity c : the repose of death
  2. a place for resting or lodging
  3. peace of mind or spirit
  4. a rhythmic silence in music (2) : a character representing such a silence b : a brief pause in reading
  5. something used for support

at rest
  1. resting or reposing especially in sleep or death
  2. quiescent, motionless
  3. free of anxieties

At this time let’s concentrate on the definitions “Peace of mind or spirit” and “free of anxieties”. So in those definitions you see that what brings you to that state of being where you have peace and have released anxieties, that is rest. But let’s remember it is a choice. You must lay down the stress and enjoy the moment, then you will find peace. You know me, I believe in laying the stress, anxiety, troubles and cares on Jesus. In fact I love the verse in the Bible that says Cast all your cares on Him, 1 Peter 5:7, the Amplified Bible says it like this “Roll all your cares, your anxieties, your worries and all your concerns, once and once and for all on Him, for He cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully”. Ok did that just bring your spirit some rest? It does mine. And what I wanted to bring attention to is the “roll your cares…” When I think of rolling I think of a ball. And when you roll a ball you actually have to let go of the ball before it will roll. You must roll it, by letting it go and give all the junk that you are going through, away and let God catch it. And He does, He catches the stuff, the anxiety, cares, worries, concerns and the mess of life and He does it because He cares deeply for you. That is cool. That brings rest. But again you must choose to roll them, choose to let Him take them, you must choose to walk away from them. You might have to do it 50 times a day but you need rest. Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book Switch on Your Brain says that whatever you think about the most will grow and it creates a cycle because what you have thought about has gone into your subconscious and becomes an physical thought. Read her book if you want to know more, it is fascinating and shows how we must choose what we think about. You must let go of worry and stress and take conscious breaks and rest. The more you think about those problems the bigger they become and your body will suffer because of it. God created the universe in 6 days and on the 7th day He rested. Did He need the rest? I don’t think so, I think He gave us an example to follow. In fact Jordan S. Rubin N.M.D., Ph.D speaks of taking a rest in his book The Maker’s Diet. He says every 7th day we should take a rest from physical labor and mental labor. He says in his book that mental labor is proven to be more exerting and taxing on the adrenal system and the whole body then even physical labor. As you can tell it is important to take time to rest. Our bodies struggle with the amount of stress that we all live with in this modern age. Children are struggling with stress. As adults we need to make the choice to build rest into our lives and become good examples.

Learn to turn off the TV, the computer, your phone. Learn to build in fun time, play time, time that your mind can rest. Learn to get good restorative sleep. You must take time to rest. When you rest you will be more productive in every area of your life. If you spend some time resting you just might get more juice out of life and out of your creative abilities then when you are flying all around. Try it and see if you will be like the bee, more productive after some R & R time.

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Push through to the hem of His garment

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You remember the story in the Bible, Luke 8, about the lady with the long term illness? She pushed through the crowd and it says she thought “if I can just touch the hem of his cloak I will be healed”.  I do not have an illness, except for what is called LIFE.  And there are times I think if I can just push through the mess of life, the noise of issues and touch the hem of His garment things will be alright. Do you ever feel that way that you need to push through your mess, your crowds of people and their ideas or opinions, get past the road of confusion and just touch the hem of His garment?  I have to have time to settle my mind down, stop thinking about everything to really get in the presence of God.  For me I need to have a quiet room, which is really hard with 2 elderly parents, a 6 year old, 2 dogs and 3 cats, not even counting the other people in the house or the phone or etc.  So I have to pick times when everyone is calm, tummies full, they are taking naps, reading books or watching TV.  I have to choose my time.   Then I have to turn on calm, worshipful, meditative music like Grace Williams or Jason Upton.  I need to have the light off and the fan on.  I sound picky.  I can spend time with the Lord anywhere and anytime but for me to push past everything I need preparation. And this preparation calms me down and shuts the clutter and clamor of my mind down a little quicker.  Do you prepare for your time in His presence? Have you thought about what helps you to settle into a cup of tea, spend time, shut out distractions type atmosphere with Jesus?

In verse 46 (NLT) Jesus says “someone deliberately touched me”.  Is that what it takes to push through?  Just be deliberate?  Does your heart cry out like mine “I want to know you more”?  Tommy Tenny says “push back the hands of Jesus and look at His face”. Sometimes we want all the benefits but not the labor.  We want the last part of “if you do this, you will get this…”  We forget the first part.   If we love the Lord your God with all you heart, emotions, mind, strength, all of you, then He gives and He gives and He gives.

I heard a term by one of my coaches, “what you carry, you create”.  There are times we have to push through things of our own making.  If we carry around anger then anger will surround us.  And things will seem to be attracted to us that will make us angry.  If we carry around depression & refuse to get help, a counselor, or someone to pray with us then the depression is like a blanket and it surrounds us and makes everything we touch depressing. The more you think things are horrible then like a snowball effect horrible things will come to you like a magnet. But the opposite holds true as well. The more you become grateful then you will walk around with a blanket or a cloak of gratefulness. Even if something is bad, you have clothed yourself with gratefulness and you won’t stumble down the rabbit trail of “whoa is me”.  We won’t begin singing the song from the 70’s show Hee Haw “gloom despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery.  If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.  Gloom, despair and agony on me”.  It’s kind of sad that I know that song.  It really is a catchy tune with rhyme.  I need to find a catchy tune and rhyme full of gratefulness.  There are times that I really have to  work on being grateful.  A lot of times actually.  I am a positive person but sometimes LIFE presses in on me.  And I have to make a choice to be grateful.  What I have found is if I become deliberate, and choose to be grateful then my mood will change.  It is a choice.  Everything is a choice.  I can choose to carry grumpiness or I can choose to carry gratefulness.  I can choose to carry anger or I can choose to be grateful.  The more I make the choice to be grateful then the easier it gets and the quicker I make it.  We must make a choice to be deliberate, we must make the choice to push, we must make the choice to be grateful.  None of it comes easy.  At some point you must make the choice and then it will become more common.  But until the choice is made and you practice daily being deliberately grateful and push yourself to be grateful when you want to act like a spoiled child who doesn’t get their way, then change will never happen.  Let’s make the choice.  Let’s be deliberate.  Let’s push ourselves to be uncomfortable to become better.  The best way to start this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to continue this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to push past everyone and everything and to touch His garment or to spend time with Him is to be deliberate.