Strange, isn't it, how we tend toward extremes? What begins as self-improvement becomes self-enslavement . . . what starts as merely a mellow change of pace leads to a marathon of fanaticism. We're nuts! Left to ourselves, we'll opt for extremes most every time. Which explains why God's Book so often stresses moderation, self-control, softening our sharp-cornered lives with more curves that necessitate a slower speed.
The psalmist calmly counsels us to "be still" so we can know that God is God (Psalm 46:10). Jesus Himself found it essential to escape the press of people to get His bearings. On several occasions He arose quite early just to be alone. Immediately after His Twelve returned hot and sweaty from ministry, it was His idea that they retreat and repair. And who can ever forget His gracious invitation? I often return to it just to let the words wash over me.
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28–30)
In a high-tech day of high-level pressures, He offers us rest. Twice in one statement. While so many others are demanding, He's gentle. While competition is rugged and being in partnership with hard-charging, bullish leaders is tough, being yoked with Him is easy. Yes, easy. And instead of increasing our load of anxiety, He promises to make it lighter. Is it any wonder Jesus's style and message created such a stir? While so many were piling on more guilt, more "shoulds" and "musts," He quietly offered relief.
Question: Where do you go to find enough stillness to rediscover that God is God? Where do you turn when your days and nights start running together? What spot becomes your hide-away so that a little perspective is gleaned as a little sanity returns? Where do you get relief from the fever-pitch extremes?
"Won't someone please stop me?"
Someone will, if you'll let Him. As in days of old, He's waiting in that little boat, ready to sail with you to a quieter shore. But getting in first requires some letting go. You can't haul along all of that personal luggage.
There's only room for two.
While others piled on guilt, shoulds, and musts, Jesus quietly offered relief.