Tuesday, March 28, 2017

EmmDev 2017-03-28 [Lent2017] Fourth Reflection - still the same passage!

Fourth Reflection - still the same passage!

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it...."      (Isaiah30:15)
John Ortberg tells the story of going to his spiritual mentor, Dallas Willard, asking about the most significant thing he could do to grow closer to God. He was expecting a classic answer like "Get up early in the morning and pray" or "Read your Bible more" and so you can imagine his surprise when Willard poked him in the chest and said "You must relentlessly eliminate rush from your life."

"You.... must.... relentlessly... eliminate... rush!"

What a thought!

Rush overwhelms us - it crowds our hearts and our minds. It bullies us and infects us and we, when afflicted with rush, very often infect and bully others.

I remember being part of a fellowship group of "Yuppies" (Young Up and coming Executive types) who in a very candid moment admitted that they had been calling each other after work hours to compare notes on who was working the longest hours and working the most overtime. In their thinking the one working the hardest was the coolest. One guy, tired of all the one-upmanship and the stress decided to stop working late and when his friends phoned him, he would say "I'm next to my pool enjoying some time with my family." It was not that he was lazy and didn't work hard - he was known to pull an all nighter when there was a crisis - he just refused to get sucked into a cycle where his worth and value was determined by the standards of the rat-race.

There are solid facts available about burnout - the longer hours we work over a long period of time, the less productive we become. Steven Covey says that the lumberjack has to stop to sharpen the saw. If he doesn't, all he will get for his labour is sweat and a very hot saw.

We must learn to rest.

Rush and Rat-Race is just another way of saying:
"Only I can do it. It all depends on me and if I don't do it then things are going to fall apart."
Have you found yourself guilty of these thoughts or attitudes?
Be very careful! It is an insidious form of self-idolatry.
Every time we close our eyes to sleep it is a profound act of faith and trust.
It's admitting that we're handing it over to God.
And we should do more of this!
A preacher by the name of Jeff Henderson said "Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a nap."

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