i have some really great neighbors who have been teaching me a lot lately about hospitality and the gospel. i believe that having an open-door policy is the way God wants me to live my life now, and in the future. to do that, requires a lot of work–keeping the house cleaned, being mindful of my schedule, and i like to have snacks for guests, so making sure i’m organized in that regard is a huge deal.
the past few weekends i’ve entertained a lot of people. international travelers, a tea party…lots of home cooked meals for friends, etc. last saturday i was cleaning my house for what seemed like the umpteenth time, and i sat down and began to dwell on how tired i was. “it’s just not fair. i work so hard.” ha! such junk.
in the middle of my pity party, God began to tell me some things. He told me that i wasn’t finding joy in the things i was doing. He told me that if i really valued this idea of hospitality and the gospel, and having people in my home to love on, then there was SO much infinite joy in mopping and scrubbing the bathtub.
i admit i didn’t completely take this lesson to heart at first and ended up taking a fat nap saturday afternoon, rather than completing the task before me of a clean house…but last night when i finished up, i asked God to help me honestly find joy in organizing the closet and folding my remaining laundry. and you know what? i was completely energized. so much so, that i tackled the reorganization of my pantry. it was awesome!
sunday at soma, jacob preached on rest. i can’t help but recognize how these things go hand in hand. joy and rest. the truth is most of us ARE consumed with our own weariness and rest. just like i was thinking, ‘woe is me…i have to do more dishes because i’ve had twenty million people over…” i loved the example of…we work 40 hours a week an come home tired, so we then veg out on the couch and watch a tv show about work for two hours. ha! it’s so true!! we try to find rest in the wrong thing.
he went on to talk about how if we took a poll on, ‘what would you do if you knew it was your last day on earth?’ that most of us…maybe ALL of us would choose to do created things. going to six flags, eating a steak dinner. those things aren’t bad—but invite your heart to consider what Jesus did. He spent time praying in the garden with his Father, putting the task at hand into perspective, and getting courage to do what He was called to. i believe he had rest and joy by not participating in creation, but relying upon and spending time with the Creator.
we are too often reliant upon broken things to fix us. jesus says, “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and i will give you rest.” every time i read those words, a wave of relief washes over me. it’s not about me. it’s not about a seven step plan, or a magic pill that’s going to fix me and make me better. it’s about sufficiency in only Christ. true rest comes from Him.
in his next breath, jesus goes on to say, ‘take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for i am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” i know this is absolutley where i miss the mark. i try to keep my yoke on, or carry both of them, meaning that i try and find strength and might in only myself. and man…it sure is tiring carrying around this yoke. really tiring. (why do i do this, when i don’t have to?)
let us change our perspective from an earthly one to a heavenly one. and even while we are still doing the same things, the same job, the same chores…we find rest and joy when we seek the kingdom first.