I think every day on my calendar is full

Here's this week's "Opening the Bible" blog entry for i.ucc:

I wrote an article for a local paper a few years back. When I read about Jesus, Mary and Martha (you thought I was going to say Joseph, right?) from Luke 10:38-42 I start thinking about the advice I’ve given and too often ignore (though this week I’m relaxing and riding horses at a dude ranch in Colorado!) Here's this year's version of the article:

Complete Exhaustion

That’s what I feel today – complete exhaustion.I don’t want to think. I don’t want to work. I just want to sit here and do nothing.

I’m exhausted.

Whew – I got that off my chest. I really feel a little bit better all ready. But still I wonder. "Why am I so exhausted?” I’m a minister – And I know the Bible verses about the strength that God provides. Verses like:

  • 1st Peter 4: 11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ.
  • 2nd Timothy 4: 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all might hear it.
I believe those verses with every bit of my being. I know that God can give me strength to do anything. I know that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection made in possible for me to be forgiven of my sins. And I know that the Holy Spirit is with me constantly – lifting me up.

So why am I so exhausted?

I remember talking to a small group of children about the time when Jesus healed a woman who had been bent over for 18 years and how the church elders complained that Jesus had healed on the sabbath. Jesus essentially told them that it was hypocritical to keep the sabbath so strictly when you can heal someone or feed them or give them a drink. That sounded good to me. As a minister, I work on the day other worshippers take their sabbath. And that sure seems like the right thing to do.

But still I am completely exhausted.

Then it dawned on me like a powerful wind in my face. 6 days of creation and then a 7th for a rest. We have a commandment to take one day off out of seven to rest and worship. Jesus sought and found times and places to rest. He reminded Mary and Martha that rest is essential. I think I should rest too! But since I work when others rest, when do I take my sabbath? How do I do it? Where do I do it?

A few years ago I found that for me, playing the guitar is spiritually renewing, emotionally rejuvenating and physically invigorating. All I need do is find a quiet place and bring my guitar. And even though I know that, I rarely pick up my guitar except to practice, record or to lead songs. I feel like I don’t have time to just play.

No wonder I’m exhausted!

6 days of creation – then a rest. . .Before this week’s vacation I don’t remember any time over the last 4 weeks where I’ve simply rested. I was so busy doing what I think is God’s work that I forgot to do what God says.

Take a rest.

I’m going to play my guitar now. Or maybe I’ll go on a horseback ride. Or maybe I’ll just sit by this beautiful mountain brook and be silent . . .

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