"Spring forward fall back," set the clock up one hour, slow down or slow up: these are some of the directions we either receive or give at times. The big question is: do we (or our hearers) understand exactly what is meant by the command?
If I am to "set the clock up one hour," I assume it means one hour later (i.e. - 8 p.m. now equals 9 p.m.). I have some friends, however, who understand that the change means to move the clock's hands from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Confusion reigns! And, I may add, I find myself getting to church either one hour early or one hour late, depending on the season.
I'm so glad the scriptures aren't that confusing.
When Jesus said: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," Matthew 11:28, he spoke so we could all understand him.
"Come" equals what to do. "Unto me" equals where to go. "All ye that labor and are heavy laden" equals who is invited. "And I will give you rest" equals what is offered and promised.
I have a friend whose occupation is much more cerebral than physical in nature. At times he considers mowing the lawn to be very restful. Why? It is an activity that doesn't require mental exertion, and it's a change of pace activity that rejuvenates him.
On the other hand, my wife has informed me, on occasion, that her greatest, most satisfying break would be to have a meal that she neither planned nor cooked nor served. That would be rest for her.
And yet, she readily dons her teaching-the-children uniform in order to love and instruct little children at church time. Sometimes the task is wearying, but it is also refreshing, because she has such joy in helping the wee ones learn of the love of God.
The purpose of the activity determines the reality of the rest involved.
If we approach the matter of time for the worship of God in the already full schedule we have, it often seems to be a wearisome, heavy addition. If, however, we see this as an opportunity to reduce our frantic activity and replace it with active contemplation of God and his love for us, our total life load will suddenly become lighter.
Is it possible that our reason for worship, service or witness determines whether we find real joy and rest in what we do?
Let's lighten our load this week by entering worship joyfully.
"Come, let us go unto ... the house of ... God," Micah 4:2.
Charles Thornton is pastor at-large of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna. Sunday worship is at 11 a.m.; Bible classes begin at 9:30 a.m.
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