Resting in the Promises
God doesn’t lie…
March 30th, 2019
We’ve made it to the last day in March. I’m not sure what happened to the first three months of 2019, but they are done and over with. We are left with only nine more before we’ll be entering a new decade.
The only reason I opened with this observation, is that we do a lot of different things and have made our lives much too busy about doing little. We mistakenly are teaching our children to be even more prone to compulsive action, without regard to consideration to what we are doing, why we are doing it, and who it serves.
I think perhaps we are falling victim to a parenting tactic that has had dubious success. What I’m questioning is the practice of loading up children with activates, sufficiently enough to preoccupy them with the activities and focused on doing ‘stuff’.
I’m fairly sure I will get pushback on this but hang in here and I believe you’ll see what I’m driving at.
The desired effect of this practice is to prevent children from entering undesirably activities because they are so caught up in entertaining, engaging, and empowering activities. Sounds like positive concepts. To an extent they are, but as with most everything in excess, even the most positive things can cause undesirable consequences.
With children, the propensity to become immediately bored when the stimulus of activity slows or is interrupted is a real problem. So many children haven’t learned how to focus and contemplate their surroundings because they are too caught up in the adventure part of the activities, they are engaged in.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)
The danger of activity loading is that the many things we condition our children to be constantly engaged in may distract from the important things that may not seem as entertaining and are much more important.
Jesus cautioned Martha when she complained about Mary who was focused on attending to the Lord. Jesus referred to this as the ‘one necessary thing’.
The issue is that while we make our children busy with things, we may neglect engaging them in the necessary things, or even the most important thing.
I really didn’t intend this to be a talk on parenting. What I wanted to do was use our children as an illustration for us, because despite us realizing it or not, we have done the same thing to ourselves.
Because this was such a great idea for keeping the kids out of trouble and also out of our hair, we’ve applied the same technique to preoccupying ourselves too.
If you are the individual that sits and contemplates their place in the universe and engages in some strategic thinking, you’re a rare example for certain.
Most of us; present company included; have far too many activities lined up we feel like we MUST attend to and we find it nearly impossible to add in anything else. Our schedules have preoccupied everything and suck the oxygen out of everything we are committed to.
Even our leisure-time activities aren’t leisure anymore.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
What we suffer from this behavior is no different for us than with our children; we tend to avoid and neglect the important things. We easily can neglect the ‘necessary things’, while we attend to our agendas.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)
Standing back from our lives and the activity that consumes them. It would appear that we are more like busy ants rather than potter’s clay.
Heaven forbid that we set there on the potters throwing wheel waiting for him to form our lives.
Garth Brooks made popular a song that had the lyric “To sleep would be best, but I can’t afford to rest. I’ve got to ride in Denver tomorrow night”. While the words were clever in the song, unfortunately Garths song through grimacing at the preoccupation with participation, doesn’t make the case nearly strong enough for us.
If we are going to be the vessels that Jesus desires us to be, we will need to stand back from some of these activities and make ourselves available for the necessary things.
I don’t have time to read the scripture.
I can’t squeeze in a daily devotional time.
I can pray on the fly and save a few moments.
It’s just not the right time to serve.
Excuses. If we’ve truly given our lives to Jesus, then our time, isn’t ours. Our schedule is really His. We need to be attending to the necessary things. Topping that list of things that are ‘necessary’ would be surrender and obedience to Jesus. If we get those things right, everything else will fall into place. Maybe not the place we would have thought they should, but they will be where God thinks they should be.
And we’ll at last find ourselves, “Resting in the Promises”.
Walk with Jesus,