Matthew 5: 1, Matthew 11: 28-30

If you've printed this out and are reading it in your armchair, whilst sipping an ice-cold beverage with your feet up, you might not want to read this. If you've got a few hours free and thought you'd check your emails for the fifth time today, you might want to skip this week's study. However, if you're running late somewhere and are quickly glancing over this, you should read it. If you're just about to go to bed and your tired eyes are frantically scanning the page, aware that you've got to be up early tomorrow, then this is for you.

You're in a hurry. In 1965 a survey was carried out and from its results it was predicted that people in the western world would be working twenty two hours a week and would be able to retire at the age of thirty-eight. It was, of course, the prediction when taking into account the power of computers. Look at where we are now and everything has come true - the fax machines are faxing, the computers are byting and VCR's are recording.yet the clocks are still ticking and we are all still running. Despite the advances of technology, leisure time has shrunk by over 30 per cent since 1973. The average person's working week has increased from 40 to 47 hours! It's madness! And you know what? Jesus didn't set this kind of example.

Before the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew, the Gospel writer, scribes, "When He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside." Having seen the crowds approaching, heard the voices crying, witnessed their desperation to meet Him, Jesus didn't run to them and begin frantically healing, answering and teaching left, right and centre. No. Not this man. He saw their needs and then took time out to be with His Father.

Martin Luther was once asked what was on his daily agenda. He replied, "Work, work and more work. In fact, I have so much to do today, I will spend the first three hours in prayer". Jesus tells us to go to Him when we are heavy laden with troubles, worries and anxieties. His yoke is light and His burden is easy, we can find rest in His presence.

I would love to take the time to be like the man who was dying, yet never stopped talking with the Lord. He would sit on the edge of his bed imagining that God was sat in the empty chair that stood opposite him. He would pour out his heart each day and night to God, as he imagined Him sat in the chair. Sadly, one morning he was found dead. However, he was not on the floor, he was not in his bed and he was not slumped in a seated position. He was found kneeling before the chair and his head lay upon the seat - in the lap of the Lord. Establishing such a regular communication with God enables us to remove our heavy burdens and take on the light, easy yoke of Jesus.

Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, "Brother, the grass grows on your path."

Is grass growing on your path? You need time out. Take it now. Walk up the mountain with Saviour, breathe in the fresh air and breathe out all your troubles. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.