BEING ELSEWHERE

The other day I read a quote posted by a dear friend that pierced my heart: “Apart from sin, busyness has got to be the biggest deterrent we face in our relationship with God”

To be vulnerable with you, I would have bypassed this quote without a second thought at the beginning of this year. I have to admit, it took a series of misfortunate events for me to completely understand the ways that “busyness” had been unknowingly stealing from my friendship with Jesus. Backstory: At the end of May I had an accident and broke my leg playing frisbee, putting me out of walking and working for two months. Just two months before in March, I had an emergency appendectomy in Costa Rica that put me out of work for five weeks. Prior to these injuries, I was a busy-bee! During my “pre-injury(s)” days, I seemed to run a million miles an hour. I was very good packing my time full of traveling, working with
youth, leading worship, work, work, work, studying, hanging out with friends etc. etc. etc. I was “running with Jesus” and attempted to find rest with him on the fly as I accomplished my “to-do’s”. I seemed to be good at spinning a million plates at one time, and to be honest, loved the rush that “busyness” brought me. My schedule was always filled with something that seemed “important”, and part of me felt that I was thriving with all of the “important things” I invested my time in for the sake of loving on God and people.

When I broke my leg, I was forced to rest at home - doctor’s orders. No walking. No working. Just resting. And let me tell you.. rest was not in my vocabulary. “No problem”, I thought… I can rest! That sounds nice!
Until day two. Sitting on a couch. Doing nothing seemingly important. I was unable to do all of the running around that I had been doing for years and all of the sudden I began to feel overwhelmed by the drastic change in my schedule. On day two of my resting, my mind was racing with all of my TO-DO lists that I was unable to check off. I quickly began to try and figure out ways to not “waste my time” on my three months of being “stuck” at home. I can learn piano! Learn another language! Spend intentional time with
people! Read the whole bible! I came up with a million new “to-do’s”. I was desperate to fill my time with important things…when suddenly God spoke to me. I remember sitting on my couch overwhelmed by the thought that this whole “rest” thing was a waste of time. And then suddenly the Holy Spirit asked me a very simple and profound question. “Why do you not feel as valuable staying at home with me- just resting and getting to know me?” I was overwhelmed as I began to recognize that so much of my value rested in the ways I could “work” alongside of Jesus. God spoke again saying “do you know that your time with me praying and worshipping at home can change the nations?” It was a profound concept to me that we can “advance the kingdom” by resting with God. What a refreshing revelation. This might have been head knowledge for me, but my heart did not fully understand the power of resting with God.
After a month of slowing down and resting, REALLY resting, in the presence of God, I began to deeply understand the Psalm that states “better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere”.

These past few months I began to experience true “rest” for the first time in a very long time, and let me tell you.. It is sweeter than a million days of being “elsewhere”.

I began to be overwhelmed, just sitting! Reading and worshipping. Weeping when Abraham died in Genesis. Overwhelmed listening to God’s plans for the nations. God’s ideas. God’s songs that I had never taken the time to listen to. I began to realize that the Father is desperate to speak to us and hang out with us. It is essential for us to set aside time to rest our head on his chest, so that we can hear the heartbeat of heaven.

I want to encourage you to take the time to rest in the presence of God. Ask God where you are striving in “busyness”. He might ask you to slow down a bit. I encourage you to slow down to know Him and be known by Him. Listen to His songs over you! Learn to “wait” on Him! He has secrets and revelations He longs to whisper to you. Let your value be rooted in “being” His. Let us be a people who glow like Moses because we have been with him resting, face-to-face. Remember, when we slow down to see Him, we become like him.