How do you get good at getting the rest God said was good for you? How do you get good at leisure? We can, of course, nod in agreement to all we’ve discussed in the past couple days about how important it is to rest and get recharged, but our greatest need is not inclination; it’s demonstration.
Here are two suggestions that will help.
1. Deliberately stop being absorbed with the endless details of life. Our Saviour said it straight when He declared that we cannot, at the same time, serve both God and man. But we try so hard!
If Jesus’s words from Matthew 6 are saying anything, they are saying, “Don’t sweat the things only God can handle.” Each morning, deliberately decide not to allow worry to steal your time and block your leisure.
2. Consciously start taking time for leisure. After God put the world together, He rested. We are commanded to imitate Him.
For the rest to occur in our lives, Christ Jesus must be in proper focus. He must be in His rightful place before we can ever expect to get our world to fall into place.
A bone-weary father dragged into his home dog-tired late one evening. It had been one of those unbelievable days of pressure, deadlines, and demands. He looked forward to a time of relaxation and quietness. Exhausted, he picked up the evening paper and headed for his favourite easy chair by the fireplace. About the time he got his shoes untied, plop! Into his lap dropped his five-year-old son with a big grin.
“Hi, Dad...let’s play!”
He loved his boy dearly, but his need for a little time all alone to repair and think was, for the moment, a greater need than time with Junior. But how could he manoeuvre it?
There had been a recent moon probe, and the newspaper carried a huge picture of earth. With a flash of much-needed insight, the dad asked his boy to bring a pair of scissors and some transparent tape. Quickly, he cut the picture of earth into various shapes and sizes, then handed the homemade jigsaw puzzle over to his son in a pile.
“You tape it all back together, Danny, then come on back and we’ll play, OK?”
Off scampered the child to his room as Dad breathed a sigh of relief. But in less than 10 minutes the boy bounded back with everything taped in perfect place. Stunned, the father asked, “How’d you do it so fast, son?”
“Aw, it was easy, Daddy. You see, there’s this picture of a man on the back of the sheet...and when you put the man together, the world comes together.”
So it is in life. When we put the Man in His rightful place, it’s amazing what happens to our world. And, more important, what happens to us. I can assure you that in the final analysis of your life—when you stop some day and look back on the way you spent your time—your use of leisure will be far more important than those hours you spent with your nose to the grindstone. Don’t wait until it’s too late to enjoy life.
Live it up now. Throw yourself into it with abandonment. Get up out of the rut of work long enough to see that there’s more to life than a job and a paycheque. You’ll never be the same! Your stress fractures will heal.
Excerpted from Stress Fractures, copyright © 1990 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.