“I just wish our meals weren’t fast, the paperwork wasn’t all over the table and she wasn’t always on her phone,” mumbled Sarah under her breath to her little sister. I know this is often the cry of my family, and even my own, as I fire off another urgent Whatsapp message. It could even mirror the work demands that have left dirty dishes for days; laundry hanging by a tight thread. I search for strategies that will ease the load and make me more proficient. But somehow it remains the same. Is there a solution to the madness?
Free in rest while in the chains of busyness?
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, …… 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,…….6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it,… 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Reading Hebrews 4:1-11 gave me a refreshing reminder that despite the demands, “today (v7)”, “there remains” (v9) or the “offer still stands” (v1) to enter rest. This means that every day is a day to enter rest. But I question, can I be free in rest and chained to busyness?
In my mind, rest is less chaos, a completed to-do list or sitting on the couch getting lost in the world of Downton Abbey. I believe rest is either more control or abdicating! Is that your everyday? Striving for more control or fleeing for less?
But this constant vacillation leaves me tired; because neither satisfies.
God calls us to make every effort/to strive to enter rest but defines that striving as faith. In 3:19 a heart of unbelief stops us from entering. Israel failed to enter rest because they had no faith (4:2). And for those who believe, they are granted the opportunity to enter rest (4:3). It’s believing, trusting, depending on the Jesus every day that enables us to enter rest amidst the busyness.
Busyness in our society is a measure of our value and worth. We do things to prove ourselves and cement our identity. In Chariots of Fire Harold Abrams ran his race saying, “When that gun goes off I have ten seconds to justify myself.” It’s the busy mom who is chained to her demands because she needs to be sure of who she is; a restless chasing. An unreachable friend, who is working at every hour she can grab hold of so she can set herself apart.
But the winner of this race, Eric Liddle, said “God made me fast and when I run I feel his pleasure!” Now, we see the busy mom who knows who she is in Christ, freely resting while she is busy. Now, we see the friend managing the demands of her company, freely resting in being set apart in Christ.
Is that your everyday? Striving to hold onto your identity in Christ.
To enter rest trust in who you are
The strategy here isn’t practical; it’s purely mindset. What am I depending on? Where am I placing my hope? How does my season of life define me and how much energy I pour into it?
You can be busy. But you can also be free in that busyness. Entering into rest every day, while all the bells are going off, chiming away to yourself: In Christ and Christ alone.
Rest is on offer when we exercise our minds into our to-do list. Understanding what we are called to do in the bigger picture of who we have been called by.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest”
Name one area of busyness you’re using to find your worth. Revaluate the attention it deserves, through who you are in Jesus.