Our Value Extends Beyond Our Busyness

Lou Phillips is taking time to help us explore five spiritual disciplines Christians have been practicing for millennia and why we need them as much now as ever before. On day three, Lou looks at a discipline that perhaps scares many people the most: the spiritual discipline of rest.

One of the ways that we convince ourselves today that we are important and that our lives matter is to be busy.

But I would argue that we have no idea how to rest and be still. We’re too afraid to stop because we think our lives will have no value if we do.

We reveal that our heart, that our true Lord, is often work and not God. Rest cannot just be something we do if we have time. It must be what we do even when we feel like we don’t have the time, because that’s precisely when we need it most.

Make it personal:

  • What benefits do you get from being or feeling busy?

  • How can you receive God’s gift of rest this week?

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Busyness is a distraction for me. It keeps me from dwelling too much on my “shortcomings.” I used to think it was a stress reliever but not so much anymore. It was actually adding more stress.
Prior to this “lockdown” my husband and I were burning the candle at both ends. We had sold our business with the intention of resting and doing some traveling. Instead, we found ourselves as busy or more than we were prior to the sale. We often talked about separating ourselves from the business and allowing the new owner to make it on his own, we just did not know how to do it. In March, all that changed and we were “made to rest.”

“He MAKES me lie down in green pastures
I’ve never really thought about it like that. It is for our own good and sometimes God does have to make us rest. For some reason I feel guilty when I’m not busy doing something.
I have already been receiving God‘s gift of rest in the way of birdwatching. Around our cabin we have four birds nest. Three of which are outside our window. I have spent hours watching those nest, how the mama and daddy work together in taking care of their babies. My husband and I both have been fascinated. One night in particular there was a bad storm. The little chickadee nest is more exposed to the elements and I worried that nest was going to fall to the ground. I paced the floor and prayed over those birds like they were my own children!
That made me think about how God “watches” over us. It’s hard for me to fathom that because of my sinful nature. It’s easy for me to love birds. Lots of thinking going on in my head as I watch these little birds :bird:
I said to my husband the other morning “I really like being here with you, just sitting here watching these birds.” What a gift :gift_heart:

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I love his statement near the end that every day we can wake up and know, before we do anything, that God looks at us and says “this is my child, in whom I am well pleased”. For most of my adult life, I have worn busyness like a badge of honor. It has been a way to feel better about myself, to fit in with certain groups, to prove my value to myself and to others, especially at work but even with other parents as my son was growing up. I could “out-volunteer” anyone. And it was and is exhausting. This pandemic came along as I am thinking about retirement, working less and figuring out what God has planned for me. I realize how uncomfortable I am in stillness and quiet. But i am slowly adapting and finding that I actually enjoy it. I am trying to have a true sabbath rest on sunday - nothing planned, no chores, just quiet time so i can breathe and think. God has been speaking to me in the quiet. I am certain He tried speaking to me before but I was too busy to notice. And i also believe this current period is being used by God to reach people who don’t know Him or who left Him and may be looking for a way back. I see revival in the quiet. For each of us.

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Thank you for these words! I have lived remote in the backwoods of Alaska most of my adult life. I gave up a great job to live here. I adopted a child and gave up that great part time job… people were shocked I would give up a great job to raise a child in a rural setting. I have learned about loneliness and aloneness. I no longer suffer with these like I did 20 years ago. We have been called apostate because we do not attend a body of believers weekly. We have been told we should move so we have Christians around us. I stand firm knowing God knows my every day. I stand firm in God giving my life purpose. I have watched friends and family suffer over the past months with the loss of their normal lives. They have been forced to parent 24/7, homeschool, homechurch. One thing many of us miss is being ok with our own skin. Being ok with silence. Being ok without living the definitions of success the world labels people with. It is frightening to watch the layers of our lives unravel… Homeschooling is not easy. Homechurching is not easy. Yet we can… and we can express our selves well. My son went to a small school for 6 months and when we moved to homeschool he kept telling me… “mama that is not how teacher did it.” Finally I told him… “yes, Zach teacher did it a certain way… but now you will learn many new ways.”

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