We have now been on Drummond Island for three days. It is a beautiful, quiet, restful place.
Being on vacation has prompted some reflection on why we need rest.
Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man. In other words, it is part of God’s provision for us. We are commanded to rest, and God has so made us that this rest is essential to our wellbeing. It is true that under the New Covenant we are no longer bound by rules about special days and seasons. But as with all the New Covenant freedoms, this one is not intended to decrease our obedience but to take it to a deeper level.
After a few days of vacation my mind is starting to slow down. This is a very necessary process. As I enjoy the simple pleasures of playing with my granddaughter, going for walks on the beach, playing Scrabble and losing myself in my novel, my mind becomes uncluttered. As a result, I find that it is easier to hear from God, and I can see many things more clearly.
I have learned that if I do not take time to rest, I become very hard to live with. I may be committed to doing the works of the Kingdom, and I may be engaged in many worthy endeavours, but I can become hard-edged and intense without even realizing it. Rest is a necessary restorative, not only for the body but also for the mind and the spirit. When I take time to slow down, I find that I am more able to operate in the grace of God.
Jesus invites those who are weary and burdened to come to him and rest. He invites us to take up his yoke and learn from him. Part of what I am learning (or re-learning) from him is that not everything depends on me. I truly do depend on the grace of God, and if I try to do everything myself, I end up missing the grace of God. As someone with a well-developed sense of responsibility (not a bad thing in itself), I seem to need to keep being reminded of this basic, essential truth. I am continually surprised by the gentleness and mercy of God to me when I humble myself and allow Him to restore my heart and mind.