We all (including myself) need times of refreshment. This afternoon, while praying with my Mom after a brisk walk in the warm sunshine, Jesus reminded me of the multitudes. Often He just had to break away to sit before His Father and be refreshed.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Sometimes Jesus would hang out alone on the mountain side; other times He simply enjoyed the company of His twelve disciples. Through these times of refreshment during Jesus’s life here on earth, we can find important truths. As we seek to love Him, follow Him, and obey Him, we can also learn to emulate Him in the ways that He spent His time.
“And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31
“After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.” Mark 9:2
Today I’m in the same place Jesus often found Himself (and perhaps some of you are as well). I need to break away to reflect with God, to invest in myself, and to love my family. If you find yourself missing your family, missing time alone, or missing talking to Jesus because you’ve been too busy to have the time this week, I want to encourage you to pause this weekend to make it happen. Maintaining our relationships with God, with others, and with ourselves is critical to preserve balance in our lives. Resting and investing in the things most important to you is healthy and wise!
“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Psalm 23:2
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
Recently I read the following parable about “Sharpening the Saw,” along with commentary from from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People. This inspired me to stop and evaluate my life as the saw. May it will encourage you as well.
“A woodcutter strained to saw down a tree. A young man who was watching asked, ‘What are you doing?’
‘Are you blind?’ the woodcutter replied, ‘I’m cutting down this tree.’
The young man was unabashed. ‘You look exhausted! Take a break. Sharpen your saw.’
The woodcutter explained to the young man that he had been sawing for hours and did not have time to take a break.
The young man pushed back…”If you sharpen the saw, you would cut down the tree much faster.”
The woodcutter said: ‘I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. Don’t you see I’m too busy?'”
“Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities:
- Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
- Social/Emotional: Making social and meaningful connections with others
- Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
- Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self-through meditation (God’s word, being still), praise music, and prayer”
Over the next three days, I will be taking time off from writing to “sharpen my saw.” Perhaps you’re in need of this as well. Also, feel free to enjoy any of the other posts on this site during this three-day Martin Luther King weekend.
Photo provided by: wall.alphacoders.com