We live in a fast paced society, always on the move. I see it in the students I work with at church. They are experts at cramming homework, sports, part time jobs, church, and time with family and friends into their days. There are times I wonder, “How do they do it?” when I see their tired faces at our Wednesday night student small groups.
And then I remember, I’m often no different. If someone asks me how things are going, a standard reply is “Good, but busy.” I too have mastered the art of filling my day with endless activities and meetings. There is always the subtle temptation to assume a full calendar means we’re doing something right.
In the past two weeks, I’ve had this disposition towards busyness challenged by God. Our bishop Todd Hunter has an amazing way of communicating truth in love. Having sat under his teaching I was reminded of one of his favorite passages of Scripture:
“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.”
Matthew 11:28-30, The Message
Last week I was able to take some extended time to rest in God through prayer, reflection, and personal retreat. It was a chance to continue to learn Jesus’ unforced rhythms of grace and think about how to better reflect that in my life. It wasn’t a purging of my schedule as much as it was a reminder that “God is present and accessible in every moment and every activity” (Esther de Waal). I left refreshed and reminded that my obedience to God isn’t His condition for loving me, but rather a response to His love.
May we find time to rest in God so that we see Him at work throughout our day.
The Rev. Taylor Ishii
Director of Student Ministry
Subscribe to The Call, our weekly e-newsletter, and keep up-to-date with ministry stories and pastoral thoughts, as well as upcoming events and special services.