September 21, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines VII: Rest

Exhaustion And Limits

My career as an engineer at an auto manufacturer used to push me past my limit but God called me out of a 22 year engineering career. Since then I would have to say it is emotional family responsibilities that often drive me to exhaustion. Illnesses, child rearing and everyday responsibilities can drive a person to the brink of madness. I am obligated as a father to find the end result and resolve the conflict or turbulence in my home. Where I can potentially default on other responsibilities, being a father and a husband are not two of those responsibilities. I have truly begun to realize that the ministry will be my new life but I still need to allow time for my family and also for myself.

The Deep Rest of The Lord

I never truly understood the concept of resting in the Lord until my father suffered for a month before his death last year. The immediate aftermath if God had not stepped in to temper the pain and stress I would've gone mad...literally. I am not talking about the peace that surpasses all understanding, I am talking about God literally stepping in and giving you more grace and the Holy Spirit is undeniably present as the Paraklete...the comforter. If you have not been there my words will not help you understand it. That being said, I rest most deeply when I know there is nothing to fret over. I do everything within my power to release the anxiety to the Lord. I know I cannot ever relinquish my family obligations nor will I be able to shirk the responsibilities of the ministry as I accumulate them and they are given to me by God. What I can do is turn over the emotional burdens and anxieties to God. I am not big enough to contain them anyway…but He is.

The One Who Allows True Rest

It is primarily the Lord that allows me rest. Real rest in both my body and spirit. The true rest that rejuvenates me resides in the arms of the Almighty. It is He that offers the peace of mind I need to know that things, in the long-run, are going to me alright. To a lesser extent but still greatly important is my wife and the peace the Lord gives me through my wife. When I am downtrodden and beat-up by the world or not able to meet the challenge of the world’s onslaught, I know that I have her as an advocate and best friend to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with. She is truly my helper and a blessing from God in my life.

All Work & No Play Makes Andy A Dull Boy

I make the time for playtime. I am a child at heart (ask my wife) and I have kids. If I did not “play” my kids would force it on me anyway. Ironically, I even need the time from my family also. This is primarily in the form of mountain biking and weight lifting…and it always has been since I was a teen.

Play Time Is Sacrosanct

Don't mess with my play time. Just like I make the time for God and family, I also schedule the “downtime”. Without it life consumes us all in the slavery of work and the burden this entails. I did not have this in my career as an engineer and it literally caused me to breakdown physically and mentally. We become trapped and slaves to our debt continuallu making it accrue and mount until we work ourselves into and early grave…no more. God has made things okay. I live debt free and this a tremendous weight removed from our shoulders (my wife and I). We are blessed in this manner.

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