Monday, August 13, 2012

Rest.

Psalm 127:2 says, "It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep."

I can't remember the last day that my mind wasn't working through plans concerning our church plant. I'll often ask my wife, when we're lying in bed, what she's thinking about. Her typical response perplexes me- "nothing". It perplexes me because I really struggle with resting my thoughts. I'm often analyzing, problem-solving, and yes, worrying. I tell her I'd love to just power down but I've found that I don't for two reasons: pride and a misplaced sense of identity.

My pride pushes me to always solve and fix things in the flesh rather than trusting the Lord and resting. My identity is often in my busyness and my desire to over-achieve rather than as one helpless and hopeless apart from my loving Savior. As a pastor there is a temptation to seek affirmation in being busy and having a manic schedule. That's weird I know but we usually don't have tangible results to show for our labor and instead of trusting that to the Lord we think being busy is a substitute.

Here's what the Lord has confronted me with (through the counsel of loving brothers): I am being prideful by not resting. There is no honor in exhausting myself, my wife, and my church (by giving them a poor example of the Biblical balance of work and rest and giving them a worn-out leader). So I'm praying for the Lord to help me put in more margins of rest in my days and weeks. I'm also planning to better lead my wife by leading us to downshift periodically. Rest and no work is laziness. Work and no rest is foolish. Both are forms of vanity. Work and then rest is Biblical and that- by faith- should be our aim.

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