Rest for the Weary!

July, August, and September are very busy for me. Next week I’m wrapping up a six-week online writing course that has been intense – for me, the teacher, no less than for the eight students! I’m gearing up toward two conferences in September, the Utah Christian Writers Conference, where I’ll teach and serve as keynote speaker, and then American Christian Fiction Writers, where I’ll be on the faculty. I’ve got a ton of critiques scheduled through Next Step Critiques, plus, I’m in various stages of the editorial process with three novels. In other words, I’m busy! I’m sure your schedule is similarly jam-packed.

As I read my Bible this morning, I came across Mark chapter 6. The apostles had been out doing the Lord’s work, and apparently they’d been giving it all they had. They came back to report in to the Boss. Jesus listened to them talking about all they’d done, and then He told them to, “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.” As I read those words, it felt like the Boss was saying them directly to me.

I don’t think He wasn’t saying, “Let’s go over here and have us a nap.” (Though there’s nothing wrong with a restful nap!) I think He was saying, “Hey, guys, you’ve worked hard. You’re tired, even though you might not realize it. Let’s get off by ourselves for a while and relax.” He knows that relaxing with friends and with Him is beneficial to our weary souls. It reduce stress, which causes so many health and emotional problems. In her Bible study, The Beloved Disciple, Beth Moore calls these mini-escapes “Sabbath moments,” brief times when we step outside the control of our day-timers and just relax in fellowship with God and His children. Sabbath moments do for the spirit and soul what a power-nap does for the body – gives us a respite from the stress, and a spiritual boost from the Lord.

Lately my Sabbath moments have included: a trip up into the mountains for a hike and a picnic with my husband; a movie with my daughter (Have you seen “Julia and Julie”? Loved it!); an evening outing to the zoo with some close friends to see a baby snow leopard and an adorable two-week-old giraffe. Times of rest and fellowship with others, where God is an acknowledged part of our bond. They leave me rested and energized. I’m telling you, they’re better than a nap followed by a Café Mocha with a double shot of espresso!

I hope you can make time to answer Jesus’s invitation to come away with Him for some rest. Enjoy a Sabbath moment.