Mindy and I celebrated her birthday and her new teaching job in June. We were blessed with a gift to stay at the Ballpark Hilton and another gift to eat at a great restaurant near the hotel. We had thoughtful conversations about how much God has blessed us throughout our first year at Mt. Calvary. We talked about our wonderful kids. Mindy discussed how excited she was with her new job. That night we went to sleep with no little people there to wake us up in the morning. It probably was some of the best rest I have had in years, but I still woke up at 5:30 am. Our room was on a floor several stories up where the air conditioning wasn’t very effective, so I was hot. Mindy is never shocked by this situation because we regularly fight the battle of cold and hot. So I decided to go for a run. It was a great morning! Because of our location, I got to run by the Arch. I came back to find my beautiful wife still sleeping, so I went to the pool and swam laps. When I felt like my exercise routine was complete I got in the hot tub. I realized my heart was racing, but not just from working out. My life is a constant whirlwind with a wife, three kids, and a wonderful church. I realized that I needed to force myself to slow down, but I wanted to be able to keep that pace; yet I felt like God was calling me to rest. I began to pray for my family, Mt. Calvary, and many other people and things. I got out of the hot tub, went to breakfast, and continued my thoughts about rest.
Funny how God can use such moments in our lives to get us to consider how best to do His work. He can challenge us or bless us. In that moment I realized rest really was important. In our discussions this weekend, we note that we are celebrating a man made holiday that has God’s finger prints all over it; that those who labor should also have rest. From the very beginning of time, God intended that our work should end with rest. As busy people this can be hard to do. Interestingly, our readings this weekend describe the Pharisees challenging Jesus and accusing Him of working on a holy day.
The Pharisees totally missed the point. God’s intent in establishing a time of rest was that He wants us to slow down, worship Him, love others, read His Word, and pray to Him. Sound familiar? This is not a way to prove that we are doing everything right. It is a blessing that God gives. He gives rest, and He gives time to recharge so we can be fully prepared to do His work.
As we gear up for the series, “Nobody Is Left Out”, we take time to rest before we talk about all the different ways God uses our gifts--about our work that could bless Him and others. It is a great opener to our series and a reminder that Extraordinary Servants need some rest time so they can successfully accomplish their servant work.