SUMMARY: Rest is always a welcomed topic. This could be the one thing we probably need the most that are the hardest to find. In this Resolute Podcast, Vince Miller addresses the topic of rest and gives us a little time to move from worker to worshiper.
RESOLUTE STUDY GUIDE: REST
In 1990 the Chicago Bears were well known as a football team and had a legendary lineup in the National Football League. David Tate, a 180 pound, defensive secondary tells the story of the locker room wars that they had back in the day. There is always a few locker room antics with guys, and the Bear’s were no stranger to these adolescent games. In their locker room, they had a number of hazing events, that would not be allowed in today’s locker room, but many on the team would say that nothing was worse than “Splashing.” Splashing was an event where the defensive line would grab a player and throw him on the ground and four linemen would pile on a single player on the team. Imagine for a moment what it would feel like, especially when you hear who the four linemen were. They were William “Refrigerator” Perry 320lbs., Richard Dent 270lbs., Dan Hampton 275lbs., and Steve Mitchell 270lbs., all stacked on top of you. This is a little over 1100 lbs. of a human sandwich. Sounds funny to the guys on top and sounds like, well not so much fun, to the guy on the bottom.
But I know on some days we all feel like the guy at the bottom. We probably all have way too many things piled on in our life. Way too much to do, crushed by the expectations of others, and the pressure we put on ourselves to succeed. I know many men who feel like this. Somedays we all feel like we are at the breaking point, and at the bottom of the pile of life..
So rest is always a welcomed topic. Rest could be the one thing we probably need the most, that is the hardest to find for many of us. Even myself with three busy kids, all teenagers, I rarely come home and find time to relax, but simply more to do. Like numerous people have said long before me, some days I feel more like a human doing than a human being.
So I have found I have to fight for rest and carve it out. And men we need this. Mostly because we live in a culture that celebrates chronic overwork and pushing ourselves to the extreme. And why do we do this? Well, I think we do this to either please others or to stroke our own egos. And all this steals from the time we need to spiritually rest and replenish. Which is a critical component of becoming a spiritual champion?
Like an athlete who performs on the athletic field, we cannot spiritually perform to our highest potential without time for rest. This is called recuperation, and no athlete can train and perform incessantly without a break. Our bodies are machines that require rest so that the muscles of the body have time to repair and heal. Recuperation is actually one of many steps to increase our performance. Athletes need to train hard, perform hard, AND rest hard. All three are critical to the body’s processes, and to remove one would result in lowered not increased performance. Without downtime, muscles will be overworked and as a result, cannot perform at optimum levels. This is not only true of athletes but the spiritual champion. Men, we have to stop neglecting ourselves of spiritual rest.
Today we are looking at Luke 10:38-41. If you would like to follow along this would be great. Luke 10 beginning in verse 38.
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41″Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Mary appears three different times in the Gospels. What is interesting is that every time she appears we always see her at the feet of Jesus. She sat at His feet and listening to Jesus here in Luke. Then in the Gospel of John she sat His feet and shared her distress about her brother Lazarus who had just died, and finally, we see her again at the feet of Jesus anointing Him at Bethany in the last days of Jesus earthly life.
What captures my attention isn’t this text are the contrasts. Mary and Martha are contrasted as to challenge us to must make a choice. This is a real life and real time choice. We can either be a worker like Martha or a worshiper like Mary. And the choice is ours. Work or Worship. Worship or Work.
But, let’s not over accentuate this point. While these two behaviors appear to not possibly coexist, Jesus in no way infers this. Jesus is clear that Mary has chosen what is better at this moment. I don’t think Jesus would ever suggest that work is not important since He himself came to be about His Father work. And we also are commanded to use our gifts, work to earn a living, and not like in laziness and sloth. There are plenty of verses throughout the Bible that support this. But, I believe what Jesus is emphasizing is working to the exclusion of worship. How many of us are guilty of this? Ouch.
Sometimes I think our increasing busyness impedes our ability to worship and therefore leads to us ignoring Christ. Martha’s real problem was not that she had too much work to do, nor that she cared, nor that she wanted to be a good host, but that she allowed her hosting, caring, and preparing to pull her away from the important activity in that particular moment.
This would be like me texting on my phone at dinner when I have time with my family. Or dealing with business calls when I should be giving attention to my wife. While Ignoring my children and wife is permissible due to urgent and maybe even important activities, it may not be the most important thing at the moment.
So now let’s apply this to our relationship with Christ with a few questions. Are you letting other important work crowds out your worship with Christ? Have you neglected time to rest in Jesus? Is there so much work to be done that your mind cannot rest and focus? Has it been so long you cannot remember when you have prayed last? Are you so plugged in that you don’t know how to unplug? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions please hear this. You can reconcile this right now. Just focus for a minute or two and let’s spend some time in confession and rest in God.