“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)
The following meditation adds contemporary perspective to Jesus’ invitation, while inspiring us to live in Jesus’ easy yoke. It’s called “Rest” and written by William C. Martin for pastors, but it applies to all of us who follow Jesus.
- If you fill your calendar with important appointments … you will have no time for God.
- If you fill your spare time with essential reading … you will starve your soul.
- If you fill your mind with worry … about budgets and offerings … the pains in your chest and the ache in your shoulders will betray you.
- If you try to conform to the expectations of those around you … you will forever be their slave.
- Work a modest day … then step back and rest … This will keep you close to God.
Martin concludes his thoughts on rest with this observation:
“One of the first things I look at when I begin spiritual direction with a pastor is his or her daily planner. It reveals volumes about that pastor’s spiritual condition, values, fears, and ambitions. It tells me who their bosses are, who their lover is, and how much value they place on their soul. If you’re working more than 50 hours a week, you’re not doing it for God, no matter how eloquent your rationalizations.
Take a long, prayerful, meditative look at your calendar. Who are you trying to impress? … God? • Give me a break! • The congregation? … Possibly. • Yourself? … Bingo!
Now cut some big chunks out of each week for family, rest, meditation, prayer, and ‘flower sniffing.’ When you’ve done that, we’ll talk more about the path to God.”
(William C. Martin, The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Reflections, 1994, p. 9.)
Additional meditations for men and women following Jesus can be found at this link: SoulShepherding.org
Peace & Joy!