Monday, March 2, 2009

Give Me a Break!

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Ever felt bored and burdened with life? Not a popular question, is it? Yet, to be honest, how many of us often find ourselves desperate to break the routine and find some way to rejuvenate our perspectives. I remember the feeling as if it were yesterday. I had counted more money that day than I cared to count in a month. It was busy. Real busy. And as people came in and out of the bank lobby with their deposits and checks, something struck me.

I had been working at the bank for some time. And the more I worked, the more I noticed how this week looked much like the week before. The same people brought their same deposits. They drove the same paths to the bank. Parked in the same parking spots in their same cars and trucks. Many of the clients even brought the same conversation to the teller booth with each passing visit. There wasn't anything wrong with it. It was just somewhat redundant for a wide-eyed, twenty-year-old that was searching for his place in the world. I was learning a new lesson. Life 101 was just beginning and the bank lobby was my classroom. And the burdens of work, school, and of adjusting to all of my new found responsibilities began to feel heavy on me. I wanted a break.

We often do the same things every day. Don't we? Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. And MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, get the picture. Bank teller. Doctor. Wall Street advisor. It doesn't matter. We all will face the next day much as we did the day before.

The truth of it is that it is supposed to be this way. God created all that is in six days (YOM--literal 24 hour interpretation) and rested (or ceased from His work) on the seventh. There was evening and there was morning (qualification of literal 24 hour interpretation). God then declared all that He had made as being "good." So is our workweek. So are our lives. (Genesis 1)

There is meaning in the repetition. Yet, through all of this, we feel frustrated and burdened at times, don't we?

Augustine once said, "Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in Thee." Until we surrender to the maker of our days, we will never truly be able to understand the meaning behind them. Until we know the God that rested on the seventh day, we can never truly understand rest in our own days. Last week I saw an old bumper sticker that read, "Know God, know peace. No God, no peace." Fitting. True.

And as the busy day at the bank drew to a close, I remembered this verse. Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Much more than just temporary, physical rest. Jesus offers rest that penetrates our being. When we understand this invitation rightly, we understand that he is not just offering rest from our stressed-out moments. Rather, He is inviting us to continually rest in Him. For forgiveness. For a new start. Freedom from guilt and the bondage of sin. And consequently, from the routine difficulties and hardships we face in this life.

Have you felt dried-up and burdened lately by the repetition of life? By the heartaches? Pains? Stresses? Have you endured life to the point of unsatisfied submission? Then take Jesus up on His offer.

A much needed break from a loving Savior.