Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Sharpens Your Saw?

Rest and Be Thankful
 Life can get pretty hectic. There’s always so much to do; people we want to spend time with, and calls we need to make. Kelly and I got to the point a week ago when we felt so overwhelmed that we needed to take a break and recharge. Even though it meant pulling back from the rest of the world. So, last Sunday after church, we slid into our jammies and spent the rest of the day hanging out at home. No phone calls – just movies, reading, foot rubs, and reconnecting with each other.

Putting on our pajamas is our cue that we can’t renege on our plan. It ensures we won’t venture out and get caught in a stressful situation after we’ve declared it a day of rest and rejuvenation. We’re in between the generation of curler-wearers and the younger generation that scuffs store aisles in pajama bottoms and fuzzy slippers. Once we’ve donned our sleepwear, we’re home to stay.

As it always does, Jammy Day did the trick. By Sunday night, we were both beginning to look forward to the new week and all we had going on. We were able to head back into the fray Monday morning full of energy and enthusiasm. Why is it, then, if it’s so beneficial, that we have such a difficult time making ourselves take a break?

Richard Eyre, author of Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: New Maxims to Refresh and Enrich Your Life, says, “Like someone sawing furiously with a dull saw, we keep doing something and tire and stress ourselves, never taking time to just sit there and sharpen our saw.” It’s true, most of us feel like we have to keep moving at all times, even if our activity is no longer productive because we’re stressed and overtired.

Even Jesus took regular time away by himself or with His disciples for prayer, rest, and I suspect, laughter. So why do we think the world will fall apart if we take some time off once in a while? I like the way the Message paraphrases Jesus’ invitation, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30).

So my question is: What “sharpens your saw?” What do you do to get revived when you are feeling dull, so you can think and act with more focus and energy? I invite you to share your answers with other readers. What have you done recently to stimulate your spiritual or physical health? How it has benefited you and your family?

To get involved in the discussion, click on the word “Comment” below and write in the box. If you don’t have an online account, select the word “Anonymous” and be sure to sign your name in the comment box. Then “Post” your comment. Let’s encourage each other with fresh ideas on how to live for Christ more freely and lightly!

Beth Vice

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