Do you need rest? Have you been on the go trying to get things accomplished so that at some point in the future you can get the rest you need? Do you feel like there’s no way you can relax until certain things get done? Then you must be careful. Our bodies are designed for rest… and not just the kind of rest we decide to give it, but the kind it needs. Not only our body, but we need to rest our mind as well.
We read in Mark 6:31-32 when the disciples had returned from a mission that Jesus said unto them, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.” Jesus knew they needed rest so he took them away. The problem becomes that even when we recognize our body needs rest, we often do not “take” the time to actually rest. Many times we decide to get away for a few days and relax, but then we come back more tired than when we left! Why? There were things we wanted to do and see!
We have to be careful that we do not burn out. Rest may not always mean “we need a vacation” because too often we will spend money we don’t have to travel somewhere so we can come back and work overtime to pay for something that brought us back more tired than when we left! Getting away is something we can do privately each day.
The disciples needed to get away from the noise. They couldn’t even eat in peace because of all the people coming and going. Jesus recognized this, and wanted to pull them away from the chaos. We too need to get away from the noise and rest. You can find rest by spending time with Jesus and reading His Word. But you must “take” time, the day will not give it to you willingly. Rest must be taken, it doesn’t show up and rearrange your schedule and push itself on you.
Let me encourage you to find a few moments each day to rest your mind, concentrate on Jesus, pray about your day, and read a scripture that you can draw your mind back to throughout the day as things become hectic. You have authority over your own self to make the time needed for rest and renewing. People need you at your best — not give out, emotional, and short of patience because you’re not taking care of yourself and your relationships. When you are tired and running on empty, that is the kind of help people around you are receiving. Before we know it we have become a burden to others and instead of kind, helpful, and encouraging.
I pray, “Lord, help me get the rest I need. I feel that I’m wasting time when I choose to relax and read a few minutes during the day. Help me to realize that I’m taking better care of myself and those around me by managing my time better and taking time to rest in Your Word. Guide my steps each day, renew my mind, and let me be at my best to better serve those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.