Enough. Enough! ENOUGH!!!
It’s exhausting. I feel like everywhere I turn someone is telling me to capitalize on my quarantine. Every time I go on my phone, which is about the only place we can go, I’m being told that since I have so much time now, I should write that book I always wanted to, learn how to play an instrument, build a business, and more. Are you feeling this too? I’m just glad that God saw fit to give me a lazy dog. At least she isn’t pressuring me to teach her new tricks.
Carried by the current
There’s an old fable that describes our current situation well. It goes something like this. Two young fish were swimming around the pond. An older fish swims by and asks, “how’s the water today?” As he swims away, the young fish look to each other and ask, “what’s water?”
We are carried by cultural currents that we don’t even recognize. All cultures intrinsically embrace certain priorities and virtues. We assume certain things are good, right, and normal. We don’t even think to question them. I would submit to you that one of those virtues in our culture is this: busyness.
Do you remember the days before a global pandemic and international lockdown? Do you remember asking people how they are doing? Can you recall one of the most common answers people would offer? In my experience, the answer was – “busy.”
“How have you been?”
“Oh, you know. Busy. There’s a lot going on….”
I don’t know about you, but I could even feel guilty for NOT being busy. Getting some distance is helping me see some things in me that probably aren’t so healthy. I remember feeling obligated to attend everyone’s everything if I didn’t have something to do. As if having the space necessary to just be present with my family doesn’t count as “something.”
Running from myself
One of the reasons I don’t like to slow down is because it can force me to see things in me that I would not otherwise. Things I would rather avoid. Like how judgemental I can be. How I struggle with control. How little compassion I feel for others and how much pity I feel for myself. And in that, I see how little I think of God. Qualitatively and quantitatively.
Caught by The King
Maybe this is part of the reason Jesus was silent when He was on trial. He became as guilty as my sin. And yours. He was still and quiet before God’s wrath so that we could be comforted and quieted by God’s love.
Psalm 46 comes to mind. “Be still and know that I am God…”
Our identity cannot be cultivated by our productivity. Our value cannot be concocted by our busyness. Our dignity cannot be diminished by our failures. Through the gospel, we have been given an identity we could never produce or maintain. The shed blood of Christ produced value we could never buy. The resurrection of Christ has redeemed our dignity. It is finished.
Does God want some of us to produce some material, quantifiable goods? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not, though. What I know for sure is that God wants to produce something in us that will result in praise, honor, and glory – to Christ – when He comes back.
It feels far more motivating and encouraging to eagerly look for what God is producing than trying to have the world look at what I am able to produce. We can be still. God will still be God. He will be exalted among all the earth. We can rest in Him.
Perhaps this could be a season for us where we learn how to enjoy the rest Jesus secured for us. We are commanded to take one day a week off to rest from our work and reflect on God’s. We are designed to take a few hours off every day to rest on our beds while God continues to work in the world and on our hearts. We are invited to cease striving and enter into the rest Jesus secured for us on the cross.
Let’s rest in that and trust that God will work the rest out.