Friday, November 17, 2006

relaxing

We're at the end of another week. Hopefully the weekend can be relaxing for us. Some of us will be biting our nails, so to speak over a football game (Go Bucks!). And we have the pressures of weekend tasks.

Relaxing is an art, that I think needs to be done right and well by us, of the Jesus community. We need to relax, not only on weekends, but throughout the week. Yes, working hard. But learning to do so in a relaxed spirit.

Relaxing means letting go, in a certain way. Letting one's hair down, so to speak. Being yourself, and not worrying whether or not, somehow, you're measuring up. For us of the Jesus community, relaxing is an act of faith. Knowing that all depends on God. It's not dependent on me, or us. But on God. Yet in this relaxed state, we know we're each called to play our part. But it is God who makes all things go, and all things good.

When I get uptight, opposite of being relaxed, I believe I'm getting in the way of what God is doing, and wants to accomplish. Instead, I need to step back, and let God be God, and do his work. It's like learning to be swept into another world, another reality at work in the world. And then remaining there. Relaxed in all our thinking and doing.

How do we do this? By faith. Just learn to sit back. Do nothing. In your heart. Having those seasons when we do not wish for anyone to come in. But when they do, to receive them, but only as those who remain relaxed. Relaxed in God.

What thoughts might you have on relaxing? And on relaxing in God?

7 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

I like that idea that relaxing is an act of faith. With all God's promises for "rest," it also seems to be the reward of faith.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

I had a seminary professor who used to say that God wants us to take time for the trivial; the problem is that human beings take too much time in trivial things.

Ted Gossard said...

L.L.,

Good point about reward of our faith. And for me, it's definitely an act of faith.

Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan,

I agree. When I speak of relaxing, I am mainly referring to doing so in the midst of the pressure cooker of life. And for me, especially when I have "ministry" responsibilities. I can become so uptight. Instead I need to relax by faith. And let God do his work, while I seek to simply be faithful. That was the intent of my post.

But looking at the post, I can see where it can be misunderstood, or misconstrued by any reader, to say that we need to slack off quite a bit, with leisurely activity in trivial matters.

While I certainly think it is good for us to do some things we enjoy, I certainly do not think our lives should be characterized as being slackers, just doing our thing.

Thanks for your good word here. And for helping me see that I could have communicated my intent on this post more accurately.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Actually, I did not misunderstand you; I thought that what you said was quite clear.

One of the trivial things I enjoy is cooking. I do not get to do it too often because of my schedule, but when I do, I find it to be quite renewing. My wife wishes I would renew myself more!

Ted Gossard said...

Oh... Thanks Allan. Yeah, I can have trouble simply just relaxing and enjoying life by doing something that is trivial that I enjoy.

I do enjoy reading and seeking to keep at what I'd call not trivial activities. But I do think it is good to be renewed by doing activities for sheer enjoyment, such as you mention. And I rather envy those who seem to know how to enjoy a triviality or two, and know how to have fun in life.

I guess the word "balance" comes to my mind, as I think about this. I don't think I've been very balanced in my life, but have grown significantly, I think.

Thanks again, Allan.

Ted Gossard said...

Allan,

On the other hand I can go off the deep end at times spending too much time on the trivial.

I did this a few years back, the one year I played NFL fantasy football. I like challenges, and it was a learning curve for me. And I like to do well. But I spent too much time at it.

I think I would have done better the following year, but that was one significant factor in me deciding not to do it the next season.