In our work-worshipping society, being still is no small task. Many have cultivated such an unrealistic standard of high-level achievement that a neurotic compulsion to perform, to produce, to accomplish the maximum is now the rule rather than the exception. We’ve lost the value of solitude.
Christians are not immune from stress fractures, especially vocational Christian workers. How many pastors or missionaries do you know who truly enjoy guilt-free leisure? How many Christian executives can you name who deliberately take sufficient time to relax? On the other hand, how often have you heard someone boast about not having taken a vacation in several years? Or being too busy to have time to rest and repair?
Work is fast becoming the American Christian’s major source of identity. We are often told that the answer to most of our problems is to “work harder.” And to add the ultimate pressure, we often hear, “You aren’t really serving the Lord unless you consistently push yourself to the point of fatigue.” It’s the old burn-out-rather-than-rust-out line that brings more guilt than inspiration. Let’s go with a different rationale: not only, “It’s OK to relax,” but also, “It’s essential!” Consider a better way to handle the tyranny of the urgent:
Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened.... But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. (Luke 5:13–16)
Some passages of Scripture simply speak for themselves, don’t they? Let Luke’s words sink in: Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Let’s spend some time there.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord...Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.