BEATING WEARY WITH LOVE
Most of us would have to admit we rarely if ever find ourselves completely rested, though all of us long for it. We long for a child’s energy, waking up ready and raring to go, skipping to breakfast! Instead, we substitute deep rest for a preoccupation with over-filling our day. We hardly ever get beyond partial recovery, to bust the bottom out of weary, and find ourselves refreshed and restored in the presence of God. ‘In His presence is fullness of joy, at his right hand pleasures forever more.’ So, how do we bust through what we’ve come to know as the bottom of our strength, and plumb the depths, where joy replaces a tired, tired?
First, plan ahead so you can connect your heart to great hope. The scriptures say to guard our heart, for from it flows the issues of life. The one tangible action we can take to keep hope buoyant and expectant is to schedule future isles of refreshment. The daily grind can whittle us to a nub, and keep us promising ourselves rest, but then allowing these resolutions to crash and burn before unexpected micro crises. The issues of life are things that pour back into the well of our strength, and lift our eyes above the routine, the mundane and the setbacks common for everyone. What are the issues unique to you? The guarding of the heart by great planning will preserve these and allow you to form fit them into your schedule.
Second, put in motion a discipline of rest in order to exhaust weary. When we find ourselves under the weight of weary, our hearts are telling us that the issues of life have been neglected, starved into submission to a dark boding sense of entrapment. Here is where we grind, instead of joy. Here is where we can flounder spiritually because motivation has ebbed, and we rely on what the world can give us to charge us up, but in the end only builds insatiable appetite for a fleeting-more. Here we have all found ourselves, and it demands immediate action. Perhaps God has allowed the end of natural strength, in order to show you a new path forward. A while ago He showed me that my daily time with Him in the early mornings was good, but not good enough to stem the rising threat of weary. He led me to what I call Office Hours, time after dinner where I close the door, light a candle, and enjoy contemplative prayer. Could I afford another hour out of my day? I didn’t think so, but now after months of this connection, I know I can’t afford not to. It took a period of weeks, but gradually those times exhausted the weary that had crept into my bones and was beginning to strangle my heart motivations. To guard well means a devoted discipline to a greater love.
Finally, trust God for His peace to quiet the tyranny of the urgent. The first thing we notice when we neglect the great issues is a lack of peace. Our heart is sounding an alarm that a daily pace or set of priorities is cutting off spiritual strength. When peace has been replaced it morphs into an anxious lethargy, a static detente that builds its own set of rules and expectations, none leading to a depth of intimacy needed for joy to fuel our steps. A wise leader once told me: ‘true rest comes when we trust the Lord, for nothing else satisfies the body and the soul’. In our culture today the air we breathe is tyrannous! It takes spiritual insight to see it, faith to rescue our heart from it, and foresight to rise and stay above it.
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You’re right–the air we breathe is tyrannous. That which is around us is muddled and confusing, with voices screaming we should do more and the quiet voice of the Lord saying, “Stay.” Thanks for this, Kev. It was a salve to my soul.