When you’ve been driving on the interstate for hours, weary, droopy eyed, and in need of a restroom, there’s no more welcome a sight than a rest area. This small oasis from the traffic and monotony of the road can give you the renewed energy and focus you need to complete your journey.
It can also save you when you’ve ingested half a gallon of coffee as a means of staying awake and you’ve reached the point where crossing your legs is no longer effective! Sometimes just the sight of a sign that says, “rest area ahead” is enough to keep us going a little while longer.
Life off the road can be a lot like that too. We reach the point where we just need to find a rest area, if only for a few minutes of rest and relief. These “rest areas of life” are there, but often we don’t recognize them or take advantage of their availability.
We just keep driving on in life – working longer, keeping at it, and carrying on – until we reach a dangerous level of stress and exhaustion. This pace is intensified during the holiday season as we add extra shopping, extra meetings, and extra travel to our already busy schedules.
So here’s my advice. Take the exit before you crash! Find the rest area and use it. Where are these “rest areas of life?” you ask. Like the highway rest areas, they are scattered along the way, but you need to recognize the signs and take the exit before it’s too late. God has given us rest stops built into the fabric of our lives if we take advantage of them.
First, every evening is designed for rest. God dims the lights, brings cooler temperatures, and beckons us to rest. If we would head this call to rest rather than filling our evenings with more work, TV, texting, Facebooking, and the like, we would find this daily rest area once again.
God also provides a 24-hour rest area each week called the Sabbath or Sunday. This special day of the week was intended for worship, rest, and refreshment. Most of us ignore this rest area week after week, trying to squeeze more activities, work, and entertainment into a space that was never intended for those purposes.
Then, there are the daily moments of rest and refreshment that we could take if we didn’t believe that our world would fall apart if we don’t run at 110 percent all day long. In fact, our productivity and effectiveness in our lives would be INCREASED if we would periodically slow down and take the exit at the small rest areas of life.
So take five minutes or ten minutes at least once or twice during the day to just breathe, rest, reflect, or pray. Your body, soul, and spirit need this refreshment. And just as the highway trip goes easier when we take advantage of the rest areas, our lives will be blessed when we take advantage of the “rest areas of life.”
Let’s use them to refocus our priorities and vision on the things that really matter – loving the people in our lives and honoring our Creator.
Take the Exit and Use the Rest Areas This Week!
– Chaplain Brian