Resting or Re-arranging? A Sunday dilemma…

For some of us, Sundays are not a day of real rest. They are just the one day a week we have to catch up, clean, do laundry and re-arrange our homes, garages and briefcases for the onslaught of the coming weeks work. Of course we make it to church each morning, but our day is really crammed full before it even begins, and our minds and thoughts are often torn between worshiping God and checking off our “to-do” lists for the day in an anxious exercise of keeping track of all the un-trackable’s in our lives. Sunday has for many of us become a day to review, re-arrange and revisit the things we really can’t control anyway.

Before I go a word further… I am as guilty or more so than any.

God is stirring in me a desire to learn what it really means to “REST” in Him. To cease from striving, from solving, from working out a situation in my mind until it’s desired outcome is assured. To stop my relentless need to asses, analyze and understand my life and my problems and then to resolve them quickly and logically on my own. It’s only when I fail to find a solution, or see a potential relief from the pressure of the crisis I’m in, that I stop and ask for help.

Why ?

Simply put, I still am guilty of compartmentalized faith and my relationship with Jesus gets crammed into a box that fits pretty well on Sunday mornings, and I can pull that box out for use on those days of extra heavy stress or fatigue… But the rest of the week, my go to guy is still “ME”. My internal understanding of how completely God wants to release me of my pressures, my planning and my control is still quite undeveloped.

So… I strive. I wrestle and I creatively problem solve my way through my days, and Sunday afternoons when God has commanded me to stop, and rest and release my burdens, my need for closure to Him. It’s not a suggestion, it’s a commandment. Not to the extent of making the sabbath another legalistic ritual without meaning or purpose, but to the extent that I can leave my guilt behind me when I simply stop working and enjoy my family and friendships for a day.

To actually intentionally slow down long enough to really reflect on the goodness and provision of my God who has safely carried me, us, this far in life, without fail. To enjoy and expect the promise of divine protection and provision and renewed perspective for yet another week as it stretches out ahead.

That’s what Sundays were meant to be… if only I could slow myself down long enough to remember that ? Oops, no…what I mean was, when I slow myself down long enough.

Peace out and Grace to you as you like me…. seek to keep your kids and families in – between the lines and on the road of life.

brad.

Super Scheduled Sundays and Parenting

 

Sunday. Oh how we dread the day, with our push to get out the door and the guilt we feel if we don’t. So we rush through our Sunday mornings to get ready, one of the kids seem to be a bit cranky and slower than the rest. Makeup, hair, showers, breakfast, finding the one pair of my son’s dress shoes, reviewing the girls wardrobe before rushing out the door and considering if its “appropriate” for a service etc… by the time a mom and dad get to the mini-van and load everyone up, we’re about ten minutes late already. Upon arrival to the service, the kids scatter, mom and dad grab a seat and we do Church.

Sundays were designed by God to be days of rest and refreshment, of common-unity with other friends and family and a day of hearing from and talking to our God. What is it that sabotages us?

It seems obvious at first glance to most of us that our lives are out of control “crazy” busy. But does it really have to be that way ?…  Especially for those of us who have experienced the power of Grace and Forgiveness which we understand (at least conceptually)has abolished the need for us to work ourselves to death trying to get into heaven.

If your like me, we fail to remember our freedom and find ourselves caught in the tyranny of our over-scheduled day. Making the effort to belong to a community of faith is a huge sacrifice of time and energy and effort every sunday and for most of us, it means loosing out on a sunday morning snooze, enjoying a slow sunday morning -paper reading, coffee sipping moment and the pleasure of a few quiet hours of idle time.

I believe the greatest threat to modern-day parents and families is our relentless schedules. We book our days like they are going to be judged by how much we did and how fast we did them. Like a massive final exam that never ends. Its time to SLOW DOWN and REST. (I’m speaking to myself first here)

John Eldridge (the author of “Wild at Heart” and head of Ransomed heart ministries) has many great quotes, but one of favorites is perfect for this blog… ” Busyness is no substitute for significance”.

Our significance comes from our identity in Christ and from our acceptance of who we were created to be and the realization of our specific life purposes. Once we grasp our significance is not found in what we do, but who we are… we can be freed from the relentless need to “prove” ourselves and work at our religion like we do our jobs.

As parents, we have already established great purpose in our lives. Our Kids. We may say that God is our “savior” and that we long ago accepted Him as our “Lord” but if our daily schedules don’t reflect that truth, we’re in danger of undermining our testimony to our kids and of living out a psuedo-compartmentalized faith.  

So, the fact your willing to read this far is testament to your interest or concern on the subject.Peace, Health and Wholeness are promised by God to those who receive Him. Sabbath rest is a Commandment of God. When we ignore the commandment we miss out on fully experiencing the promise. So instead of trying to survive our days by living at the speed of light, lets remember to NOT schedule one day a week of our lives. Our families deserve the rest and so do we. Without this discipline, I believe we place enormous strain on our lives and our homes and our marriages that is completely unneccessary. 

Parents like me… let’s work hard to reduce our Super Scheduled lives into days we look forward too and lets invest that time into our families and homes and lives and remember it’s not about legislating that we rest, it’s about learning how to allow yourself to enjoy it.

Here’s to helping families like mine to “keep it on the road and in between the lines“….

Resources for Busy Parents… www.ishineministries.com

PEACE out.

brad.