I like old people.
Old people typically like me.
Or at least, I get the impression that they do.
They smile and strike up conversations with me in the grocery store.
Maybe they’re laughing at me though. Knowing that one day, I will be old too.
Still, I like ’em.
They don’t just know things – they understand.
They’re confident in who they are.
They’ve got tough skin.
But the thing I like best about old people is this, they move slower.
Most of them by choice.
They aren’t in a hurry and they don’t care if you are.
It can wait.
Nothing is more important than spending time with the people around them.
Watch, someday I’ll end up being the old lady whacking people with my purse as I shuffle along in my walker, grumbling that,”those young punks don’t know how good they have it. When I was their age. . .”
This is like crazy person speak today, I know.
But come with me.
Let’s go down the crazy road together.
What if you and I were more like old people?
You know, sit for a spell and fall asleep mid conversatio- – – zzzzzzz.
Hang out on the porch and watch the cars go by.
Tell stories about people that no one else in the room remembers.
What if we slowed down enough to forget that we are millennials determined to change the world and just enjoyed our lives for a moment. What if we remembered that God wants that for us too.
What if we, actually, rested?
I told you, crazy person speak.
We have busy lives.
We fly through our days at speeds that could rival NASCAR.
And we are proud of our busyness.
It’s a badge that we are important.
We are worthwhile.
What we are doing matters.
Because we are busy.
But what if that was completely opposite of what God wanted for you and me?
What if we aren’t really as busy as we think, what if we are just terrified of letting go and resting in God’s love for us?
And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today”. The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest.
This whole idea of rest started last summer. I guess that’s when God started getting my attention about resting and what that should look like.
But the biggest umm, we’ll say, “hint” – was a dream that I had.
God was speaking to me about rest.
He told me, “Joyce, I need you to get this.”
It was a really blunt “hint”.
I’ve spent the last year trying to figure out what the heck he meant.
I was more careful about my schedule making sure I didn’t burn myself out, made sure I was rocking the Sabbath and took one day off each week to do nothing, but I still didn’t feel like I was getting it.
I listened to sermons on rest.
I read books about rest.
I quoted Bible verses about rest.
I prayed about rest.
But I was tired.
It’s a lot of work learning how to rest.
But after 18 months, I finally got it.
You wanna know the secret to resting in God?
It’s no worries.
Worry was making me tired. I didn’t even realize how much I worried. But it was like a leech. Sucking away my passion and energy from all that was supposed to be life. I felt it like a black hole in my stomach.
I wondered if I was parenting my kids well. I wondered if I was a good wife. I wondered if I picked the right songs when I led worship. I wondered if I offended that person the other day. Wondering. Wondering. Worrying. Worrying.
I was thinking about all good things.
Being a better wife.
A better mom.
A better worship leader.
A better writer.
But it was killing my heart.
And my energy levels.
Which is hard on us old people, because after 2 pm we only do decaf.
So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
But I wasn’t carefree anymore. I was taking on more than my fair share of the load. A load that was supposed to be God’s. I was trying to keep myself righteous.
It’s not our job to maintain our own righteousness.
It’s our job to not screw it up.
I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
It is possible to do all the outward motions of rest and still be a worried mess on the inside.
And there’s a lot to worry about these days.
There’s the fight you had with your spouse.
There’s the kids.
The car that has started making a clanking sound when you reach 55 mph.
The people at work.
The people at church.
The people on the street.
The people in the world.
You can pick your poison. You can worry about anything.
But his righteousness is enough and if he needs to bring some adjustments to our lives, he’s big enough and gentle enough to do it.
God wants our internal state to be at rest.
He’s not worried.
Not in the least.