Labor(less) Day

The busier I get, the less I care about others.  Think about that statement.  Is it true for you?  The busier you are, the less you care about others.  Well, how about this; the busier you are the less you care about God?  Think about it.  We have created a society that is always on the move, always busy, always doing something, and therefore always neglecting someone.

I had an interesting conversation on Christmas night with my brothers-in-law.  We were commenting on how the younger kids all had their phones out and were texting their friends.  They were probably bored with hearing the old men around the table complaining about kids on their phones!  But here is the point.  One asked this question:  It is Christmas dinner, how many of you have your phones on you?  We all did.  Then he asked the other question.  How many of you really need your phone on you right now?  I, as a pastor, was the only one who had a legitimate reason to be carrying a phone (in case of a pastoral emergency).  Not the auto mechanic, or the landscaper, or the handyman.  They carried their phones because that is what we do today.  No other reason but to have the phone and therefore, the emails, the internet and the texts.  Just in case.  Just so we can do.

But before those of you who do not have smart phones, or do not carry your phone everywhere get too comfortable, let me ask you this.  When was the last time you just stopped without feeling guilty about “not doing”?

God does not intend that for us.  In the creation story, God used six days to do His work and rested on the seventh.  When God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses, God specified we work six days and keep the Sabbath holy.  This was not an intention to inflict a rule onto us; rather it is a gift to keep us sane.  In the same way, Jesus modeled a way of life that included his work.  He preached to the larger groups, taught the small group, healed many, continued to spend much time in prayer, and he rested.  Even during “crisis” Jesus rested (Mark 35-39).  He knew that we need to balance all we do.

And, of course, this is hard.  There is so much to do.  We have unfinished business, bills to be paid, people to call or visit, family who demands and deserves our time, chores to be done, grass to be cut, dishes to be washed and a need for exercise and sleep.  But we also have a life to live, one that should be lived with our Lord, and this is a life that needs balance.

So what do we do?  How do we start?  How about permission?  You have permission to take some time off.  You have permission to take some time this Labor Day weekend and just enjoy the provisions of God.  You have permission to rest.  And that does not come from “THE PASTOR” the permission comes from the LORD.

May God bless you abundantly this Labor Day weekend.

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