Greetings friends! I have three announcements before this week’s post.
First, As you may know, you can now subscribe to my blog. As a subscriber, you will automatically receive a link to the blog each time I create a new post. Subscribe today!
Second, this is my 8th post. Some of you have read one or two posts, and I sincerely thank you for your support and feedback. I’d love for you read them all – just scroll down, and you’ll see them. You may find an inspirational word or thought for yourself or someone you know and love. Feel free to comment on them, and to let me know what other topics you’d like to see addressed. You may also ask me any question you like, and I will respond promptly.
Third, I am interested in further expanding my network to build an audience for my upcoming book, and in increasing my visibility by speaking at church events, cancer support groups, community health events, etc. Help spread the word about who I am and what I do! Share my website and blog posts with the people in your network – coworkers, friends, family, people in your life who are on healing journeys, etc. Thank you so much for your support of my God-given ministry and mission – I sincerely appreciate you!
Now onto this week’s blog: Take Time to Rest. In today’s world, we are people on the move. On any given day you may go to work, the store, a friend’s house, to drop off or pick up your child from daycare or school, church, the movies, the mall, the doctor’s office, you name it. We've all got places to go and people to see. As a society, we’ve never lived at a faster pace than we do now, especially when you add technology into the mix. We can communicate with hundreds of people in a day all over the world through email and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On the one hand, it’s great that we’re keeping it moving, not standing still stuck in the same place. But here is the question for you, my friends. Are we so busy going, going, going that we forget why we’re going, where we’re going, and what our purpose is once we get there? Are we zooming through life so quickly that we barely take the time to listen or reflect deeply on issues that affect us? I think so.
This past Sunday at the church I serve, I preached a sermon entitled “Rest Stop Along the Way.” The sermon was about a passage from the book of Luke in the New Testament of the Bible, where Jesus stops to visit his dear friends Mary and Martha at their home while traveling to Jerusalem towards his divine destiny. This story has long fascinated its hearers because it juxtaposes the revered virtue of hospitality – which tends to mean going at a frenzied pace to prepare everything perfectly for company, down to the tiniest detail – with that of simply being present to bask in the glow of what the present company has to offer us. Martha is the sister who worked non-stop to get everything ready for Jesus’ visit, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening intently to every word He was sharing. Martha didn't like this, and even demanded that Jesus tell Mary to help her get things ready for the meal they were about to share. But Jesus told Martha to chill out, that what Mary was doing - sitting and listening – was, in reality, more valuable than Martha’s hustling and bustling.
In one of her signature sermons, my dear seminary sister Carla challenged her listeners to be “Mary in a Martha World.” I realize this isn’t easy. We tend to measure our worth and our value by how many tasks we accomplish; we ask ourselves if we have we checked off enough items on our to-do lists. Our checklist lifestyles are fine to a point, but perhaps the first item on our agenda EACH day needs to be to listen to the sound of silence. Distractions are present everywhere in our fast-paced world, and it can be challenging for us to concentrate on just one activity at a time, especially when so many different elements are vying for our attention. I am a witness!
The cell phone that came into our lives about 20 years ago has become a necessity and is perhaps the greatest distraction of all. With it, we literally have the world at our fingertips, and cannot imagine being without it. We can be in instant communication with friends and loved ones around the world, and we can find out the answer to any question we have with just a few finger taps. It’s pretty astounding when we think about its possibilities, which seem limitless. But does the cell phone have the power to connect us more deeply to our inner selves? Can it connect us to our source of strength and power, from wherever it derives? Divine power needs no charging station or electrical outlet; divine power does not depend on a battery. We are the ones who need charging, so we need to plug into the nearest rest stop to make it happen.
At times we love to run around doing as much as we can, and at times we like to relax. But often we end up relaxing because we are exhausted from all our running around. If we don’t take a break from everything we’re doing, we might collapse. I submit to you that as spiritual beings, we need a regular time alone during the day for meditating on the Spirit, whatever we understand the Spirit to be. When we are still and listen to that still small voice within us, we hear powerful messages that speak to us no matter where we are on our journey. These messages are good for our minds, bodies and our souls, which work together in perfect harmony for our good. Today, I invite you to make restoration and rejuvenation a regular part of your life. Sit in your favorite chair and meditate, pray, or just be still and listen to the sound of your own breath. Note: No cell phones allowed!
If we commit to being as much as we are doing, we will be changed persons. So my friends, on the road you are currently traveling, look for the nearest rest stop. Get off the road, and enter it. Take time to rest. You will be glad you did. See you next week.