Monday, August 2, 2004

What We Do

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in A Healing Moment

There was a time I went to bed at night after a long list of chores accomplished in the day, not to recount all that I had done .... but to ponder all that I didn't get done. Almost exhausted with my 18-hour super shift at super speed, I still expected more of myself.

"No rest for the weary" I could hear my Daddy saying. He worked hard to provide for the family in steel factories, driving coal trucks, part time jobs on the side when I was younger. I guess I grew up thinking that life was tough and I had to hit the trail at full speed to get it all done.

Funny how we grab a few words here and there from childhood and run with them. My Daddy's entire life did not portray hussle and bussle. He worked hard, but he came home and relaxed. On Sundays we played games, took walks and drives in the country. He taught me how to ride a bicycle and later how to drive a car. His job got easier while I was a teenager when he got a job managing a huge apartment development with a number of perks.

By the time I was 18 I was ready for two jobs and lots of activities to fill in the rest of the hours and that lifestyle pace continued into my marriage and parenting. During those years I now remember my Daddy often saying, "You better slow down or you're gonna make yourself sick."

Like the white rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland" there seemed to be no slowing down. Until ..... my body demanded it with illness.

I had no mercy on myself and rarely on others. What drives driven people to their own ruin? Is there one major root cause? I speculate that we each have some hidden message that keeps us wound tightly. I've certainly remembered messages from my past, but we ultimately make the choice at who we are going to be.

Is our life based on who we are in Christ, or what we get done? It's been noted that our #1 need in life is to be loved. Are we seeking love and acceptance, security and sufficiency in what we do?

We are told that we were made to fellowship with God, as Adam and Eve did. They rebelled and we now have the curse of working for our food and shelter, but their sin didn't take away God's desire to fellowship with us. He made us "in His own image" because He loved us and wanted our love given by our own choice.

Do we cover up that need with busyness? With our minds swirling with lists of things to do, we can't possibly get from the Word what God has to give us. It will be as jumbled and confusing as our busy minds. "Be still and know that I am God."

Stillness is an art! I believe people cover up their lack of security in who they are with busyness. They drive themselves to exhaustion so they don't have to think on the real issues of life. Being a taskmaster is a full time job mentally and physically.

For whatever reason, many of us don't believe that God truly loves us. That is the first step in turning away from the worldly schedules and walking at the pace of Jesus.

Consider these words by Brennan Manning: "God's love is based on nothing, and the fact that it is based on nothing makes us secure. Were it based on anything we do, and that "anything" were to collapse, then God's love would crumble as well. But with the God of Jesus no such thing can possibly happen. People who realize this can live freely and to the fullest.

Remember Atlas, who carries the whole world? We have Christian Atlases who mistakenly carry the burden of trying to deserve God's love. Even the mere watching of this lifestyle is depressing. I'd like to say to Atlas: 'Put that globe down and dance on it. That's why God made it.' And to the weary Christian Atlases: "Lay down your load and build your life on God's love." We don't have to earn this love; neither do we have to support it. It is a free gift. Jesus calls out: "Come to me, all you Atlases who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you."

We all were never meant to be lean, mean, fighting machines. That's why your body isn't keeping up with it. At some point, lifestyles must be changed and hopefully before our daily path leads to the STOP sign with a major health problem.

I didn't listen to my earthly Daddy about slowing down and my health was the STOP sign that caused me to reconsider what I was living for. If you live in a whirlwind and think there is no way out, do not believe it. There is a way out if you truly want it. God's promises are true and He will give you rest if you seek it.

Isaiah 30:15 "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; in returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.."

Let Christ take your burdens and give your weary body rest. Time with Him is well spent and there is always enough of the day left for what needs to be done. You may need to evaluate "need" with the Lord. May the peace that passes all understanding keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

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