Experience ‘life to the full’

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Experience ‘life to the full’

By Pastor Andy Sayer
Fayette Community Church

“Hurry up!”  

I catch myself saying this to my kids all the time.  Sometimes it feels as though life is one big treadmill.  We find ourselves hurrying and hurrying but never reaching our destination.  Our culture would tell us we can have it all, do it all, and we deserve it all.  In an attempt to strive to attain what our culture deems necessary, we struggle and strive to “hurry up,” draining ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually in the process.  

The symptoms of this busy lifestyle result in us rushing around frantically even as we complain about our pace, speeding up our activities and multitasking.  We become irritable and crabby and impatient with those around us.  This life, however, is not the life God has called us to.

In the book of John in the Bible, Jesus uses a metaphor to describe us as sheep in need of a shepherd.  He says, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:9-10, NIV)  

It’s all too often that, when we rush through life, we are robbed of experiencing this “life to the full” that God offers each of us.

From the beginning of Creation, God instituted a Sabbath, a day of rest.  This Sabbath is so important to God that it’s included as part of the Ten Commandments.  God apparently knows we need rest for three main reasons:

1. Rest builds rhythm in our lives.  We weren’t designed to run 24/7.  Even machinery needs scheduled maintenance.  Even professional basketball players need time on the bench.  I love the words of Psalm 127:2: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for He grants sleep to those He loves.” (NIV)

  We need rest to catch our breath. We need this rhythm in order to realize that work is just one component of life, not the only thing.

2. Rest refreshes.  Coca-Cola, in 1929, had the slogan “The pause that refreshes.”  I love the words that God gives to His people: “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that…you may be refreshed. (Exodus 23:12, NIV)  

It’s important that we have time to celebrate what our hands have accomplished.  This “life to the full” that Jesus invites us to have is meant to be shared with those we love.  Be thankful that God is inviting you to pause to enjoy life and those you get to share it with.

3. Rest shows us how limited we are. When we pause and rest, we are reminded that the planets stay in orbit without our help.  We discover what it means to trust God.  We’re instructed in Psalm 46:10 to be still and know that He is God.  When we stop, we get a chance to look up and realize how limited we are in the grand scope of things.  And that it’s okay that we can’t do it all.  We need this reminder often.

So what does this mean for you?  Maybe it’s as simple as putting this article down and taking a much-needed nap.  Maybe you need to intentionally slow down.  Spend a day without looking at your watch or by purposefully choosing the longer checkout line.  Perhaps you need to plan a day with those you love to intentionally be unproductive.  For others of us, we might want to make a “Stop Doing” list and be OK with saying no, even to good things, so we can say yes to the best things.  

May you stop and realize that He (not you) is God and, in turn, experience “life to the full,” the way we were created to live.

 

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