Our little dog Bandit loves to chase his ball. In fact, I'd say he's obsessed with it. No matter how many other toys we give him, he will always choose that faded green rubber ball.
Bandit wants everyone to throw his ball, so he can fetch it. He will chase it over and over and over, until he physically wears himself out. His little body gets so wound up, it's like a battery that gets more charge with each throw.
You'd think he would know when to stop, but he doesn't. We finally have to say 'no more' so he will rest.
It reminds me of how I get sometimes.
Projects. Things to do. A full calendar. I like being busy.
So much so in fact, that I can't sit down to watch a favorite TV show if I look over and see a pile of clutter on the table. I have to get up and deal with the clutter right then.
Because in order to relax, I need to feel like I've gotten something accomplished first. The problem is that I've never stopped to define the word accomplished.
Focusing on the unfinished tasks around me drives me to an unhealthy state of frustration, that eventually ends in what I like to call 'flip-out' mode. I've become very adept at keeping the flipping out inside myself and not letting the frustration fly into the face of those around me, but keeping it inside isn't the best solution.
Because when I hold it in, I'm not dealing with the root of the issue.
In her book Doing Busy Better, Glynnis Whitwer writes about how God wanted to teach the Israelites how to rest by giving them the commandment regarding the Sabbath. In her book, she says,
"God wanted to heal their hearts and minds from generations of bondage, and that would only come through dependence on One who was completely trustworthy."
The Israelites had lived as slaves for generations in bondage. They needed to learn balance. They needed to learn how to rest.
I love Glynnis' words in the image above. "God modeled a simplicity of work that feels refreshing and focused." The Israelites had to unlearn years of behaving as slaves. And just like them, we may not know how to find the right balance of work and rest in our own lives.
That's why we need the wisdom of God's Word and His gentle hand to guide us.
I've enjoyed reading Glynnis' book Doing Busy Better this summer. Her teaching has inspired me to find balance, and to quit chasing that ball over and over until I wear myself out.
Even those of us who are wired for work can learn how to rest.
If you'd like to read more about What the Bible Says about Being too Busy, click the title link here.