To be saved?
It’s not about perfection, or being good enough.
To be saved?
It’s about returning to the God who loves you, and trusting he is enough.
For me, it is an act of trust to set aside time to dwell in the Word.
But I am always refreshed and renewed and restored and reanchored afterwards - a million times more ready to do the tasks before me.
‘[Rest] is not weakness; it is trusting God to be able to achieve his plans for us and the world without us running ourselves into the ground.’
Of all the things that threaten to rob me of intimacy with Jesus, busyness is the greatest.
I feel bound by my lifestyle of busyness. To invite you into my way of thinking, I think of rest as something to do when I have finished what I need to do. Currently, I have 13 items on my to do list for this week that sit on top of my regular commitments. This means that I feel an immense weight, a pressure, to be productive and efficient with my time. The outcome is that if I’m not multitasking, then I’m rushing to get what I’m doing done. I don’t really dwell in my activity, I don’t really savour it - I’m rushing through it, eyes on the next task, craving the ever elusive state in which everything will be done.
I don’t schedule in bandwidth to rest. And the consequence of this is that when my body hits the wall, the rest I have isn’t usually good quality rest, because I’m semi-panicked and guilty about the fact that I’m not doing the things I planned to do in the time I’d allocated to do it in.
This pattern of ad hoc rest is not sustainable. And increasingly it’s unsustainable. I have a chronic illness that is getting worse - and, ironically, it is the very productivity that I’m pursuing that I’m losing the capacity for.
I can’t afford to rest only when I am done. Because I will never be done. And at this rate, I will never spend solid time with Him who is the source of life and the reason for living. And if that’s the case, then what’s the point of all my activity? I’ve been saying to the people I lead that rest is integral to work. I need to listen to myself.
Part of the trouble is a niggling fear I’ve had for the past year. It arose after I went through four months of doubt. The fear is that I am wasting my time with this God stuff, and that I should devote my energy to pursuing a career like the rest of the world. The fear is that labouring for The Lord is a waste of time. The fear is that my time is short and I’m going to be left behind.
Throughout the story of God’s people, there are many stories of people giving way to similar fears - that God won’t come through - and instead of trusting God, they take matters into their own hands. They had forgotten who God was. They had forgotten what he had done.
This is me, so often. Too often.
I’m praying that God would help me as I seek to live life plugged into the Life source, not striving in fear-driven frenetic activity.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, where my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour.
‘You are the water when I thirst.
You are the way when I wander away.
Just one day with you is better spent than all the rest.’
This is today.
Manolya - Reflection of a Conscience, 2008
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.”
Your eyes say it all.
Your eyes say it all to me.
Oh dear, it’s come to this.
Hand in hand we are agreed.
‘Go; I’ll wait for you, I’ll wait for you.’
But you say, ‘Don’t wait for me, don’t wait for me.’
I can’t see ahead.
You glance away to hide your tears.
I say, ‘This is what’s right.’
You nod and look away.
Look away, to a year from now,
When you’re feigning polite acquaintance,
And I’m a familiar stranger.”
— A Familiar Stranger
Strange little creatures, they are. Scurrying around asserting themselves, postulating politicly and projecting popularity, whilst an overwhelming fear pulses beneath the shiny smiles. A fear of uselessness. Of being unwanted, of caring too much and the investment not being returned. Of their absence being unmissed, and their contributions overlooked. So, it seems, they pre-emptively withdraw into their shells before danger is at hand, they callous themselves to guard against potential harm, and then - just like that - dive straight back into the water.
Of things that distort and stunt, I think fear might just be the worst.
— Michael Jensen