Stumbled on this about two years ago and I still appreciate it. It’s also on the Bible app here.
I’ll admit that all of my electronic gear is very, very cool. And it truly is. But here’s what I’m learning is not so cool: becoming more fascinated with my stuff than with God.
This is a problem not because I say so, but because God does in Matthew 11:28.
When God said that rest is found in him, he means that rest is found in him. Translation: real rest is found nowhere else. Recently I heard a pastor in Maryland talking about the difference between amusement and rest. We tend to do one better than the other, and the one we do well is not rest. Case in point: last year my family and I went to Disney World for a full week, and I came back more exhausted than before I left. And I was really tired when we took off. I may have escaped the stressors of daily life, but had I even rested at all? This is what God is hinting at here, that restfulness is tethered to the state of our souls.
We acknowledge that a healthy heart rhythm is critical for maintaining good health. A steady heartbeat is kind of necessary, right? What we are slower to admit is that our souls require rhythm too. “All of us are aware that a healthy heart and regular daily and yearly rhythms are essential for health,” wrote Dr. Christine Sine. “We also know that if our heartbeat is irregular then we need to see a physician for a checkup. Most of us, however, are unaware of the spiritual rhythms that are just as crucial to our health and well-being. Since our lives are increasingly disconnected from the rhythms of God’s world, we do not hear the underlying whisper of God’s heartbeat that is meant to sustain us, and we are unaware of the symptoms that should alert us to our growing ill health”.
So when God says to us, “Come to me, and I will give you rest,” we don’t respond.
God tries again: “Lay your burdens down, children. Walk with me, and your walk will be burden-free.” Again, we don’t respond.
God says, “I want you to be fascinated not with trinkets, but with me.” Still no response.
Ever patient and ever persistent, God goes for it a fourth time: “Slow down. Look up. Linger here with me.”
We think we hear something. Wait. Was that the voice of God? We glance skyward and say, “Huh? God? Was that you? What’s ‘linger’?”
But before he has a chance to reply, we hear subtle dings from our phones—alerting us to new text messages. Then we can’t help but move our thumbs across our phones. Score one for the Enemy of our souls.