On April 7th an event occurred for which I had looked forward for several years - the release of my book, The Ordinary Way. Interestingly, The Ordinary Way "hit the shelves" during a very unusual time. The days in which we now live more closely match the subtitle of my book for indeed we are experiencing and experimenting with a unique way to live.
I am thankful for the timing because the words in the book help us evaluate our choices in how we use our everyday ordinary lives (no matter how ordinary) for Christ. I believe that a read through chapter 20 will be helpful today.
In our pursuit of knowledge as to how to live in such a manner that we honor God each of the seven days of each week, we continue with Wednesday.
As we continue to focus on that call, let me recap.
Sunday = Honor God through worship.
Monday = Honor God with your work.
Tuesday = Honor God by dedicating more than fifty-five hours a year to Him.
With three days before and three days after Wednesday, the day earns the title “Hump Day”—as masterfully portrayed by the camel in the Geico commercial. Wednesday represents all of those desperate pleas that begin with the words, “If I can just…”—words followed with an assortment of…
—“make it to tomorrow”
and statements like those.
Wednesday marks the day on which people grow weary.
While not necessarily on Wednesday, everyone grows weary. In Isaiah 40, the prophet declares, “even youths grow tired and weary.”
Knowing our need for rest, Jesus extended an invitation to all to come to Him to find such a seemingly elusive gift. Continuing with the theme, the apostle Paul encouraged his hearers to “not become weary doing good.”
Weariness invades everyone’s life; it is no respecter of persons. Toddlers learning to walk, children up too late, teenagers cramming for exams, moms and dads tending to children at three a.m., young professionals burning the midnight oil, senior adults worn down by the years—all know weariness. Does a solution exist? Can we prevail?
The answers to those questions return us to familiar territory—to the arena of “easier said than done.” Yet, nevertheless, the affirmative “yes” answers both questions. So—what’s the solution? How can you prevail?
Before I show you in Scripture, the what and how, respectively—a reminder of our essence will prove helpful. The Word of God drives home the amazing truth that God created you. You did not arrive due to some accidental progression of nature. You were created and in God’s image you were created.
When He formed you, He gifted you with a body, a soul, and a spirit. While the discussions prove complex, in summary, we exist as physical, emotional, and spiritual beings. Therefore, in regard to the subject at hand, we grow weary physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
With that grounding, we return now to the questions--
“What’s the solution?” and “How can we prevail?”
One answer belongs to both.
That’s it! The cure for weariness is, in a word—rest.
Saying does not equal doing, so let’s unpack some ways to accomplish this. In this chapter, in recognition of “Wednesday,” I will provide some starter tools from Scripture to help you get over the hump. (You can also refer back to chapter eleven for a refresher.) Keep in mind—rest is not reserved for one day alone.
Tools for Physical Rest--
1) Trust in the Lord.
2) Sleep in trust.
Tools for Emotional Rest--
The longtime Alaskan Ella Bell lived to the age of 101. When she celebrated her hundredth birthday, she was asked to share her secret to longevity…
“Don’t worry. I give all my worries to God. The world could be falling apart and I wouldn’t worry. I’d just bake an apple pie.” (“Alaska Centenarians”)
We may safely assume that Ella Bell learned her pie recipe from her mother and that she learned to give up worry from her Lord.
1) Trust in the Lord.
2) Kick your worry habit.
3) Find a friend. (Listening ear, encourager, small group member, a fellow retiree, another young mom, another new dad, a peer at your school who follows Jesus, etc.)
Tools for Spiritual Rest--
1) Trust in the Lord.
2) Look upward.
John Wesley once wrote to a friend, “You look inward too much, and upward too little” (Source Unknown).
3) Look outward.
Notice that while mentioning upward and outward, I did not include inward. A quick Google search will produce for you a near-endless list of resources that offer advice on how to find peace and rest. If you choose that route, you will find some helpful tools. However, you will also find much more “in” than “up” and “out.”
A life focused on self will not produce the rest that God offers. True rest arrives when we devote ourselves to loving God and loving others. Selfishness leads to spiritual fatigue. Service leads to rest that accompanies obedience to God’s greatest commandment. Live for Him and others and you will find rest.
While I highly recommend Sunday naps, one day to sleep in, and a trip to Hawaii during Alaskan winters, I also offer a word of wisdom—not mine—God’s…
Thomas á Kempis wrote, in the early 1400s, the now-classic Christian devotional book The Imitation of Christ. In it, he composed a prayer—a prayer with which I will close this chapter and in which I invite you to join me in praying.
Go to Amazon.com now and order The Ordinary Way to read more helpful words. You'll be glad you did.