I recently came across Eugene Patterson’s paraphrase of the message in Matthew 11:28 – 30. It goes as follows:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
How amazing is that line “Learn the unforced rhythms of grace”…it’s absolutely beautiful, and the exact reminder that I believe a world filled with hurry sickness needs to hear on the regular (myself included). The other day, as I was rushing from one task to the next, I realized that I was hurrying for absolutely no reason. I stopped right then and there and talked to Papa for a bit. He led me to Matthew 11, and I am so grateful that he did. I really needed that reminder – SLOW DOWN – you have all the time you need for the things that are truly important! Jesus didn’t rush, and isn’t the ultimate goal to be like Jesus? To live His lifestyle…unhurried, unrushed, only taking time for the important things, and loving with such a ferocity and passion that anyone that comes in contact with you leaves feeling lighter, happier, and well?
I don’t want to get on my soapbox here, but the pace at which the world’s standard of living has become is simply unsustainable. We are constantly being told to do more, achieve more, do the workout, get promoted, be the best, get the followers, achieve, achieve, achieve! While these can all be great things, in the hustle and bustle of it all, it is so easy to lose sight of what’s most important: Jesus. It’s led so many people to not only physical and mental burnout, but it’s also causing spiritual burnout…I mean who has time to sit and just be with God anymore with all this pressure coming at us from every side to always be going, going, going?
Personally, I believe that one of the biggest enemies of spirituality is hurry. It is a roadblock that takes us out of the present moment, robs us of feeling accomplished for something before moving on to the next thing, shortens our attention span, and creates an internal environment that makes it nearly impossible to just sit and be with God. It’s an epidemic of sorts that really needs to be healed! Hurry sickness is a real thing, and it is rampant in the world today – I would go so far as to say that everyone has it to some degree simply due to what society has become. Plain and simple…we need to slow down. We need to realize what is most important to us and take our time with those things. We need to heal. We need to relax. And most importantly, we need to take His yoke (teachings) upon us and lighten our loads. Listen people, it’s okay to be happy with a calm life. Take time to celebrate an accomplishment before moving on to the next thing. Take time to truly listen to your spouse, children, neighbors, and loved ones. Breathe, slow down, just be. It’s okay.
Thus, today I challenge you! In a world that is obsessed with hurry and idolizes being busy, be the exception. Allow Him to teach you how to heal…how to take a sincere rest. Slow down…read the verse in the featured image of this post slowly and carefully – one word at a time, allowing their true meaning to sink into your innermost being. Breathe deeply, and don’t rush it. There is something that God is trying to tell you right here, right now. Let Him show you the unforced rhythms of grace.