Romans 15:13, Psalm 62:5-6, Hebrews 5:7, Ecclesiastes
"Have you ever noticed that Jesus is never recorded as taking a holiday? He retired for the purposes of his mission, not from it. He was never destroyed by his work; he was always on top of it. He moved among people as the master of every situation. He was busier than anyone; the multitudes were always at him, yet he had time, for everything and everyone. He was never hurried, or harassed, or too busy. He had complete supremacy over time; he never let it dictate to him.... He knew exactly when the moment had come for doing something and when it had not." (Evelyn Underhill, The Mastery of Time)
I am challenged on reading this, as I'm at this present moment planning my holiday for the summer. Lots has been happening recently and I'm looking forward to the break. Yet, I am challenged by the above, of taking time out for the purposes of mission not from it. We're all involved in mission in some context, and on first reading it I thought so can't I have a holiday then? But I don't think that's what God is saying, but the above did point a few things out for me:
Let Him be the one to make you happy
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
Enjoy the things we are blessed with (like holidays!) but don't put all your hope and happiness in them. I know it's obvious but sometimes it's easy to let other things take over our life and replace the true joy only found in Jesus.
"I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy." C.S. Lewis.
Is there any 'stuff' in your life stopping you or holding you back from receiving true joy from Jesus?
Take quality time out
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I shall not be shaken" Psalm 62:5-6
Take meaningful time to be alone, just you and God, away from the busy-ness. Enjoy holidays from work, etc but... quiet, intimate times with you and Jesus are key to refreshing your soul, and helping you grow into the person God would have you be.
Learn to say no
Jesus knew the exact time when to retreat from something and when to get involved.
"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him..." Hebrews 5:7
He had time for everything and everybody... but not all at once! Learn to say no to things, it's really easy to get bogged down in doing lots of 'stuff' for Jesus but neglecting to spend time with him. Enjoy quality time with family, friends etc don't burn yourself out being 'busy for Jesus'.
There's a time for everything
Don't spend all your time looking forward to things:
when I get that job, when I move house, after holiday, after today.... Obviously it's good to plan ahead and to look to things in the future but don't let that cloud the present moment. If it's a tough time or a happy time, seek God throughout. Ever feel like time is going to fast? Probably because you need to just rest, and enjoy today. Thank God for the present and not just for the better times ahead.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11The 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.
Volunteer Youth worker
St. Peter's Church
View all Life Files by Rachel Nixon