Monday, March 24, 2008

Ok! I'm going to jump out on a limb here and share something that has been on my mind lately. That is REST and QUIET. I already touched on REST a few days ago. Lately, it seems that God has been allowing circumstances in my life that demand the need for rest. The details are not important, but the things that I have been learning are. I am by nature a "noisy" person. I enjoy being noisy and I love having lots of noise around me. Noise means people, and I love having people around. But, since Phil and I have entered the "empty nest" era of our life, we seem to have a lot more "quiet" going on around here than "noise".

It seems, lately, that it was being impressed on me that this "quiet" is intentional. I come from a hard-working family. Some things that I heard as a child were: "Hard work never hurt anyone." "The early bird catches the worm." "Idleness is the devil's workshop." "Are you working hard...or hardly working?". Don't get me wrong, I believe in hard work. God expects us to put everything into what we are doing. He doesn't want us to do anything half-way. But do we make our "hard work" and idol? Is the appearance of "working hard" more important than what we are really doing? When we are asked, "How are you doing?" do we answer, proudly, "Busier than ever!"?

After years of "working hard" I am realizing that along with a strong work ethic (that is definately taught in the Bible) is something that some of us often miss. It's a strong rest ethic. I'm beginning to see that, maybe, the secret to a healthy soul is not to stop working hard, but along with that, take a regular "pause". I'm afraid that one of the biggest hinderences to "revival" could be our "busyness".

Now, I'm not saying that we need to set aside all of our activities and programs, that seem to be working to bring people in, but that we need to push the pause button now and then. It seems that we choose more activities to fill our "time off"; such as shopping, watching a good movie, reading a book or just "go out and doing something". There's nothing wrong with these things, but let's not forget to slow down long enough to take "spiritual inventory". "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

More than ever, we not only need a quiet place and a quiet time.....we also need a quiet heart. We need to listen. To pray. To hear. If He would speak in a "still small voice" would we be able to hear? I'm afraid that I might not. Why? I may have too much noice going on around me.

So here's the conclusion that I have come up with. Maybe it's not so much what WE seem to be doing for HIM that brings results, but what HE IS and DOES FOR US. Let's not stop "working hard" let's just remember to push the pause button on a regular basis. Turn off the noise, even for just a few hours. Spend time "listening" to God. It's time to seek Him until He comes and rains righteousness on us (Hosea 10:12).

I guess that I had better start thanking God for the quiet place (our home), the quiet time (my days off of work), and start preparing my heart to be quiet. I think I'll turn off the radio, I really don't need to watch that movie again, and do I really need to check my blog three or four times a day? Instead, I think I'll open my Bible and maybe even fast and pray more.

I don't know about you, but I have prayers that need answered. Do I really believe that He can do what He said He would? I need to work harder, but I also need to "pause" more often with a "quiet" heart, so that I can hear Him when He speaks.


Beth 'n Ralph Williams said...

Hey, Sue. Enjoyed your thoughts. So, so true.

Phil & Sue Arnold said...

You mean you actually read this blog? You see, I do the "preaching" at home. Phil doesn't really seem to be too enthusiastic about it. Hmm...maybe he's just learned to tune me out.

Cheryl Watters said...

Great SERMON, Sue. Seriously, you have some very good points. I enjoy your blog!

urhis said...

What a lesson for all of us! Thanks for the reminder.