Soul Rest

Man Sitting On Bench During A Beautiful SunsetI try to get to bed at a certain time range each evening. I believe that my morning begins the night before. I learned a long time ago that these two were intricately connected. There are some nights that rest comes so peacefully. There are other nights when for whatever reason, I don’t rest well. Sleep usually means rest, but rest doesn’t always mean sleep. I like my life to have a bit of rhythm. I don’t mean musically, although I love music. I like to have some routines and systems in place for my life. When I change up my routine, it takes a minute for the rhythm to return.

Jesus is teaching the people and He has just complimented John The Baptist for his work in preparing the way for Him. He also complimented people who simply follow Him completely. He then makes a statement that really settles my heart. He speaks of soul rest. Check this out….

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

I love the fact that Jesus has strong shoulders. He gives an open invitation for me to come.

He can carry any of my burdens.

He gives me strength when I’m weary.

He gives me calm in the midst of chaos.

He gives physical rest.

He teaches me from His humble & gentle heart.

He gives soul rest.

He replaces my struggles and burdens with a different calling. Instead of seeking success, He invites me to serve. Success comes after serving. Success comes after sitting at the feet of Jesus. Success comes after rest. I understand that is sounds backward, but the Lord want me to trust and lean on Him. This does not mean I’m lazy and sitting around “resting” all the time. If I never work, rest becomes boring.  I intend to keep trusting the Lord to lead and direct the activities of my life. I trust Him to help bring balance and rhythm to my journey. He gives me soul rest which also connects with physical rest. I’m thankful for His gift of soul rest.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Lifetime Later

 

Vector silhouette generation men.I remember the average lifespan being about 70 years. The life expectancy in the USA is nearly 79 years old according to the US Census Bureau. I know quite a few people who are pushing the boundaries on that one. It also gives me pause to think about the balance of life here on earth that remains for me. As I meander through this life from day to day, I want to make sure my accomplishments end up making others lives better is some way.

The people of Israel were taken captive and moved away from their homeland right at 70 years. They were given the freedom to go back home from Cyrus the King of Persia. I imagine the homecoming was pretty emotional for some, but for others, they had only heard their parents and grandparents speak of this place. Check this out…

68 When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings towards the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. 69 According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 darics of gold, 5,000 minas of silver and 100 priestly garments.

70 The priests, the Levites, the musicians, the gatekeepers and the temple servants settled in their own towns, along with some of the other people, and the rest of the Israelites settled in their towns. (Ezra 2:68-70 NIV)

I imagine them to be so very grateful to be back in their homeland, that they decided to give of their resources to rebuild the house of God as well as their lives. Throughout the history of the people of Israel, the temple served as a centerpiece of their lives. It’s like they said, “First things first” when they arrived back. I can only imagine the emotion that they felt to be returning home after nearly a lifetime in captivity.

This short passage made me think about my own life. I’ve not had a lifetime yet, but if I knew then what I know now, I’d have done a few things different. I don’t get to go back and rewrite the history of my life. I can finish strong though. I’m not the President or King of an empire, but I can make my simple life count for the Kingdom of God. I can love others. I can give of myself. I can use all that I have to honor God. I don’t have the equivalent of a lifetime left, but I can make what time I do have count for the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Contentment

contentment road sign illustration designThis can possibly be a tough concept to grasp, given the fact that our culture seems to be quite the opposite.  In fact I feel like my mind is being assaulted with ads saying that I “need” this or I “need” that. When I take a good hard look at how blessed I am, I need to indeed find contentment.

I recently had this discussion with my 14-year-old son. He had a perfectly functional computer, but found one on eBay just a bit better. The only real difference was that the other one “looked better”. I really tried to explain contentment with what he has. I couldn’t make the case, so we’ve gone through with the sale of his and about to receive the “nicer looking” one in the next few days. Contentment can be an illusive concept even for the parents.  Paul speaks to this subject quite openly and bluntly. Check this out…

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:10-14 NIV)

 

One of the reasons this goes “against my grain” is that ever since I became a REALTOR, I’ve been trying to build my business. I want to continue to grow my customer and client base. If I get content in my business, my income will dwindle away. I also need to be content with technology. I converted to the Mac world about 3 years ago and this was one of the best business decisions I’ve made. I’ve had very little tech issues and when I added the iPhone and the iPad to my arsenal, I am really very well connected with technology. I’m learning to balance contentment with growing my business. I’m learning that contentment is really more a state of balance and simple trust in the Lord. I have to really decide between want and need – desire and necessity.  I think Paul is speaking to the mindset of “always wanting more than I have”.

Christmas and birthday’s is a perfect time to practice contentment. I was reminded of this when several friends got together and instead of exchanging goofy gifts, we gave our money toward a Micro Loan via www.kiva.com. I’m content with what I have, so how can I make someone else’s life better. There is serious joy in giving! I can do this with the Lord’s help.

Pressing On!
Dwayne