A Slow Down Spirituality

      We live in a culture of hurry and exhaustion.  Does your life feel that way?  Sometimes mine does.  Demands at work, my family; it can be overwhelming at times.  Sometimes I have to pause and ask, “am I living at a sustainable pace?”
      How do we live life with a healthy rhythm of work and rest?  How can we be different from our frantic culture? First, LIVE WITH FOCUS. In Ephesians 2:10 the Apostle Paul writes, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Every person has an individual calling.  There are specific good works we are called to do.  In recent years, I am learning that I am not to just say no to sinful choices but sometimes I have to say no to good choices that are not the best choice that matches my individual calling.  Author Lysa Terkeurst says that when we say yes to our specific calling that is “the best yes.”  In Scripture, we see David called to be the author of most of the Hebrew prayer and song book (Psalms). He was also called to solidify the Jewish kingdom, but when he wanted to build God’s temple, he received a clear no from God; that was his son Solomon’s job.  Live with a laser-like focus on God’s calling on your life. 
      Second, VALUE REST.  Imagine being a slave in Egypt, not just you but your parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Generations of slavery, then God miraculously delivers you from Egypt and leads you out.  You stop at Mt. Sinai and God gives Moses his laws for living.  Included in the “Big Ten Commandments” is one that says, “Remember the Sabbath” (Exodus 20:8-11).  In essence, weekly take a day to rest; I imagine the Jews high fiving one another!  Slaves never get days off, no holidays for several hundred years.  And here God says part of the rhythm of life is to have times of rest.  This is radical and refreshing.  No wonder King David’s most famous Psalm (23) says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures” and “He refreshes my soul.”  In the life of Jesus, we see him take time away to rest and pray.  We see Jesus busy, but never in a hurry; he faithfully fulfilled his mission and honored rest.
     Third, EMBRACE BOUNDARIES.  The only way to live a life of focus and to carve out times of rest is to say no consistently.  We must have boundaries around our work, technology and even the people we allow to be prominent in our lives.  We may have to say no to a demanding promotion when we have small children at home.  We may have to limit time with a family member who is mired in addiction.  We must work “no” into our vocabulary.  In Luke 10, we see the story of two sisters, Martha and Mary.  Martha is busy and anxious putting on a dinner party for Jesus and the apostles who showed up with him.  In contrast, Mary sat at his feet and learned from Jesus.  Martha complained to Jesus and He told her that Mary had chosen the good part.  It takes strong boundaries to have the time and attention to “sit at the feet of Jesus” but let’s try, for He is the one who offers a beautiful invitation.  He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  
      Pace matters.  Accept God’s invitation to live differently; experience a life of clear purpose, restorative rest, and healthy boundaries.  
Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church