So, yesterday I ran out of the door with three different earrings adorning my ears (and just so you know, each lobe has only one piercing 🙂 ). On my right ear hung the intended earring, while on my left hung the other two. They were hopelessly tangled together and dangling weirdly from my ear. I noticed my new fashion statement when I looked in the rearview mirror while hurriedly backing out of the garage. Grrrrr. I quickly rushed back into the house to make things right.
I had given myself enough time to get ready for work, but one phone call from a discouraged friend pushed back the margin of allotted time. And that was okay. I wanted to take the time to listen to her and to pray with her. After I hung up, though, I found myself rushed. Hurried. Pressed for time.
And isn’t that the way life so often is? We rush through our days, distracted and harried. We have families to care for, jobs to get to, meetings to sit through, activities to show up for, errands to tend to. Before we know it, we find ourselves caught up in the captivity of activity.
God has told his people,
"Here is a place of rest;
Let the weary rest here.
This is a place of quiet rest."
But they would not listen (Is. 28:12).
A week ago, we entered the season of Lent. Participating in the practice of Lent is not a necessity for the Christian life; instead, it is an invitation … an invitation to intentionally grow and deepen our relationship with God. By definition, an invitation is typically a polite, courteous request—it is not a summons—you can either accept it or decline it. A recent teaching I listened to explained that Lent offers us a three-fold invitation:
- An invitation to self-examination and repentance;
- An invitation to prayer, fasting and self-denial;
- An invitation to reading and meditating on God’s Word.
Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).
Included in each of these Lenten invitations, is the bid to be still. To intentionally empty ourselves of those things that distract us, in order to make room for the things that nurture and feed our souls. To hush the noise of our outer world, in order to better hear the quiet voice of the Spirit. To rid ourselves of the things that weigh us down, in order to free us to swim deeper and soar higher with our Lord.
The Lord is my Shepherd ...
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul (Ps. 23:3)
God knows how hurried and distracted we too often are, living on this side of heaven. Each and every day (not just in the season of Lent) He graciously offers to refresh our souls and replenish our spirits. Today, may you hear the voice of your Savior extending to you this invitation:
Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6:31).
I hope you say, yes.
photo by kelly-sikkema-273133-unsplash