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Resting Place

Work hard, and never let up, so when it comes to you, you deserve it.

It’s the mantra.

It’s the message.

It’s how we raise our children and ignite our workforce and justify promotion and pay.

But Christ says, “No really. I want you to have this.”FullSizeRender (1)

And you look out upon this and it’s what you have always wanted, even though you have never wanted for anything.

Who would turn down a gift like this?

Rest in me, Love.

I have come to prepare a place for you.

Here.FullSizeRender (2)

Vocation, not vacation

I’ve noticed that the world doesn’t take this week off. I mean, if you don’t pick up and travel to some location far away, life finds you. And it finds you doing what you do the other 51 weeks of the year. I’m not sure we know how to do rest anymore.

I was so looking forward to it – a week of Sundays with no demands. None of the regularly scheduled items. No deadlines. No meetings. No classes. No obligatory anything. All was left open. But that’s not enough. Because things wander in, and before you know it you’re more full with things to be done than you were when your appointment book reigned supreme. Unless we “take our rest,” we are restless, and the world’s ways have a very quick solution to that problem.

This week, known as Holy Week to those in the Christian faith, is the holiest week of the year. We are meant to set it aside, the culmination of a season of Lent which has prepared us for just this time. The week following Palm Sunday: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. What a package deal: 3 for the price of One, all on sale this week at a church near you!

That sounds just plain exhausting. Better to go on vacation to take our mind off it all. But this year, we haven’t. I’m here and I must decide what this week will be for me. For my faith. For my Lord. For my family, friends, community and world. Because that is why I am here.

What do I suffer so that someone else might be healed? It’s a simple question, with no simple answer. We all have to answer it for ourselves. The key for me is trusting that there is an answer. There is an intention behind what I’m meant to do, and it’s bigger – so much bigger – than me.

A friend just posted this on Facebook: Photo

A week of palindromes. The dates this week will be the same read backwards and forwards. Were you to list these numbers, there would be no way of telling whether your started at the beginning or the end. The last would be first and the first would be last, and we couldn’t tell which was which. Cool, huh?

Funny that this is true of Holy week. The week where the greatest reversal of all time is celebrated. The week that death itself was defeated and life eternal took its place. Impossible to grasp, really. Yet, what I keep finding (and hearing from others when they find) is that when God’s solution in a circumstance or a question or a hardship or a decision is made plain, it makes perfect sense. “Of course. I should have seen that all along!” It’s so simple.

So, I sit with my week that isn’t quite what I had planned, and the things set before me. Kids who are hurt, injured, recovering and the parents and coaches who long for them to be well. I see the hardship that desperately needs healing, and I am in awe that He would entrust these to me. But God, this week? It was supposed to be our quiet week, our Sabbath time, our rest. We were going to get to those old projects, really wrap up the manuscript, tidy up those articles I have been meaning to submit, and clean out those closets. It’s spring after all!!

Wait. There’s no quiet there. The spring break holiday is no respecter of pain and suffering; they get no vacation, no break, no respite until healing comes. Health care workers are on the job, even on holidays, even on weekends, even on Easter. Perhaps this week, above all weeks, is meant to be dedicated to making all things well.

Jesus didn’t take a week off. Especially not this one. How simple.

Doesn’t completing a project feel good?

  • Fill in the blank
  • Complete the sentence
  • Close the loop
  • Finish that song!

We humans have a need to finish what we started. Almost as if we’re designed that way. Why does it seem like we’re always spinning our wheels? On the go. No rest for the weary. We get chastised for doing too much, being too busy, moving too fast. How can we possibly rest?

Oswald Chambers (in My Utmost for His Highest) writes… “Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest – the rest of the completion of activity in our lives that is never aware of itself.”

Is that the rest God has in mind? His rest? The rest we feel when a project is accomplished, a job completed, a project is done, an item is checked off our to-do list?

Maybe that’s why breaking big projects into manageable chunks, just like cutting my chicken breast into bite size pieces, helps me out. I’m nourished as I consume each portion, and by its provision, I embark on the next. Each completion rests and restores me.

Don’t tell me to stop and rest. There is rest for me at this finish line. I’ll take a deep breath, give a big thanks and then…start again. Refreshed.

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