Monday, March 7, 2016

a time for work...and a time for rest...

 take time to smell the roses and see how Nature is all around you!

 the Song of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

The circle of life. It isn't just a song from a Disney movie, it is true that what goes around, comes around. If you look around you you can see the circle in Nature, when the seasons constantly shift and rotate from Spring to summer, Autumn and winter. I try to see the beauty of winter, a time when everything lies dormant. It is a time of rest for the Earth as well as our souls. The harvest is in, we can now take a break and rest. A seven day week is also a circle of life in that we work, but save the seventh day for rest. Rest is always important.

I am  a go-getter. To me, the word "rest" seems so "lazy." If I'm not moving, I feel as if I am letting someone down. I really need to work on that! Or is it "rest on that?" Of course, if I mull it over at night, sleep doesn't come easy either!

Jesus gave us a the story about this. Luke 10:38-42 tells us:
 "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to himShe had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Many times I need to remind myself of this. I feel that if I don't do whatever needs doing, the world will collapse within itself. It's a horrible cycle that began when I was very young, with a mother who always called me lazy, that I would "never amount to anything!" I took that to heart. Although I did everything I could to please her, it was never "good enough." I see that in me now, that if I don't always perform, I am never "good enough."

God loves us unconditionally. When we try...and sometimes fail, He doesn't hold us up for reprobate. He doesn't say to us, "OK, heaven has a special place for you" and points out a small chair in the corner. He sees us in all of our struggles and understands us, how can He not? He made us in His image and likeness.  I think so many times we can be harder on ourselves than we think God will ever be on us. This is not a license to go out and commit sin...but rather, a gentle reminder that though we try and not always succeed, we need to just pick ourselves up and try again. But we also need to balance out our efforts with rest, giving ourselves time to see what works...and what doesn't...and go on from there.

Today, listen for God's voice....know when you need to stay on top of the ball and when you really need to just step off for a bit and smell the roses among you! With Spring in the air now, roses will surely be in abundance sooner than you think!