It has been a very long week. My body is tired. My mind is lazy. I am looking forward to this day of rest.
I am fortunate to have a very physical and demanding position at my place of work. It is something that I greatly appreciate and enjoy. I am constantly on my feet, moving at a steady pace. I do a lot of lifting, bending, pushing, pulling, and climbing. At the end of the day, I always feel that my efforts have really made an impact. My role is just a small part of the overall objective of our company, but it is an important part within its function.
My day of rest is every Saturday. It is also a day of recharging. I am usually up early, meditating. Focusing on His loving provisions. It is much like every other day, but I am in lazy mode. It is not a very demanding day, unless I have something scheduled. Even then, I do not have to move at the usual pace that I am accustomed to throughout the rest of the week. I am not worried about the fast-paced world on Saturdays. I am usually listening to music, enjoying a cup of coffee, slowly moving about and doing the bare minimum. It may be a day of fun with the family, or it may be a day of covering my tired body with a comfortable blanket, and simply relaxing. It is a necessity that I have chosen, and I embrace the blessing full heartedly.
There was once a time when this day of rest was one of the worst days of the week. I would have a full work week of hustling and bustling, and then Saturday was a day that was full of anxiety. I have always worked day-shift, and I am not afraid to admit that work was once an idol of my own creation. I was a workaholic.
Work was an idol; a thing that I placed high on my list of priorities. I had to make that money! I had to have nice things! I had to have money, lots of money, in the bank and in my pocket. It was a driving force that kept me working even when I wasn’t working. I had a business on Ebay that I worked diligently to build. I sold hand-made aquarium décor, and was very successful. When I was not working my full-time job, I would work late into the evening building my business. I had to be ahead. I had to see the bank accounts full of dollars. Saturdays were the busiest day for the small business. I had to gather materials, put in the physical work, market my product, respond to potential buyers, keep track of sales, and all of those fun things that go along with running a successful business. Anxiety and stress was fine, as long as I was making money.
There was a stopping point; an intentional shut-down of my online business. A great lesson came from that point of turning away from chasing the next dollar. I started to learn more about the Lord through His Word, and realized how the idolatry of money was placing God at a spot below my lust for wealth. It was the main focus of my life. It was right up there with my idols of harmful substances and food. Necessary.
I started to hear, read and learn about His way. I put my trust in Him. I learned that my gods were being put before my God. I realized that this world is full of little things that hinder our relationship with the Lord. Those little gods that we have. The money, the booze, the food that I would gorge myself with. I learned about His Commandments, and how rebellious I truly was being. Holy Spirit prompted a realization that showed me how the lustful lifestyle was not fulfilling the emptiness that I still felt inside. After making an extra dollar, eating a huge steak or downing a bottle of vodka, I was still not satisfied.
Years have passed, and all of these lusts, or idols, or whatever title we want to put on them, are now intentionally managed. He is the management. I have learned a lot about the lusts of the world, and keep a close eye on those things that try to crawl into a place that overrides His place. A year or so ago, I purchased this piece…
It hangs on our wall within our dining room. It is a simplified version of The Ten Commandments. We have young children, so it is easy for them to understand. They know what Jesus has done, so don’t worry, they know that we all fall short. It is just there to remind us all that the Lord has always known what is best for us.
The first two Commandments are what I had looked at throughout my turning away from the idols I had mentioned earlier. Clearly, I know that I was putting money first, my substances first, and my love of food first. Clearly, these things were worshiped. I have a deep passion for honoring the Lord, and even though I often fail, He has already forgiven me at Calvary. It is a great honor to serve Him, and to let go of what was once hurting Him, and me.
It is Saturday, and on what I believe to be Sabbath day, I will rest. I will honor Him. I will trust Him. I will put Him first, today and every other day. I will battle the little idols of the world, and through His grace and strength, I will rest.
Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest- Matthew 11: 25-30 (ESV)
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”