Saturday, October 14, 2006

rest and responsibility

For some reason this evening, as I was kind of in a daze over the wasted hours I had spent on a wild goose chase between two stores of the same chain, in trying to exchange a monitor still under the return date- as I understood it, etc., etc., etc.... And as I heard my wife, Deb talking about her problems at work. And as I thought on some of the extra stress I myself have experienced in the past weeks. Then I had to think- being helped with the journal my wife gave me for our recent anniversary- that indeed, I have really come into a more real rest, by and large. This is a rest, by faith in God. Believing that he is at work and that his promises are true. And that therefore, the burden is not on me. Not that I've arrived on this issue of rest. Just that I've grown, so that rest in God is substantial and more real for me.

Once I'm learning to live in that rest, then I am freed to seek to fulfill God-ordained responsibilities. When not really resting in God, one is simply trying to deal with life in a way that God can be, and often is left out. There is the kind of laboring that is really more like just trying to get through another day. Maybe with a few highlights and experience of God's grace here and there. But by and large a struggle to the end.

But learning the light yoke and labor that comes from the rest God calls us to in Christ, means freedom to labor with God, by the Spirit. To follow Paul's example, he did so putting all effort into it. But it was not futile. For God was energizing him by his power at work in him. Paul wasn't concerned about surviving, but in fulfilling God's calling for him.

So I reflected, not only on my new found substantial rest (compared to years of falling short of it), but my desire to better fulfill responsibilities at hand. Especially prayer for others, as well as other good works I find to do.

Rest and responsibility. Surely they go hand in hand. As we better get down the rest part, than we are able to concentrate better on the responsibility part. For only as we rest can we really do the works of God. Just another paradox in the long line of them we find in Scripture and in our life in God.

12 comments:

Drew B Moser said...

Excellent thoughts Ted...for it's only when we abide in Christ that we can ever be fruitful

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks Drew. Yeah. That certainly says something of the same, in a richer way.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Thanks. I have real trouble with the rest part, but I am getting better.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan,

I still have my moments- sometimes prolonged, and days. Though I think I've come along ways by grace from having been a more or less chronic worrier, in the past.

L.L. Barkat said...

Being a northeasterner, I like that seeds lie at rest beneath the snows, before spring comes to swell and burst them into life...

Ted Gossard said...

Yeah, L.L. I'm kind of amazed over that phenomena, especially after a hard winter. And in the Spring such plants so often look so green and fresh. Where I came from in Ohio was a good place to see this.

It is interesting how in a number of places in Scripture we find agricultural analogies adapted to the life of the soul or to souls/humans.

Susan said...

This is a really good word, Ted.

blessings and grace,
-Susan

Ted Gossard said...

Susan,

Thanks. And the same to you.

Jim Martin said...

Ted,
This is a good post and an important word to all of us--me in particular.

Ted Gossard said...

Yes Jim. Thanks so much. Though I've grown in this- this is daily something, that in one way or another I have to deal with, or am aware of.

Anonymous said...

I like how resting in the Lord all ties back to trusting Him to be God and not trusting ourselves to be god.

Ted Gossard said...

Bryan,

I believe there is much wisdom in what you're saying here. We unwittingly, in refusing to rest in God, are saying that God can't handle things. And often we're adding to that: that we ourselves can do better. Putting ourselves in the place of God, it seems.

Good thought, and thanks.