“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 v 28-30 The Message
‘Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out…?’
It’s an invitation for those who have bought the stuff, gone on the holidays, lived the dream but have ended up somewhat disillusioned and dissatisfied.
‘Get away with me and you’ll recover your life’
It’s for those who feel they are not in control; no longer in the driving-seat. The need to work manic hours, to move up (or get on) the property ladder, to get the kids into school, escape on holiday, keep up with friends, keep fit, have great sex, and so on, is all too much.
How can we recover our lives- our dreams, our hopes, our sense of wonder- life as fun and celebration?
‘I’ll show you how to take a real rest’
Many of us live lives that are non-stop. We feel we’re on a never-ending roller-coaster ride with no obvious means of getting off.
The invitation is to learn together how to jump off and learn to stop.
Eugene Peterson speaks of Sabbath as stopping: ‘whatever you are doing, stop it…whatever you are saying, shut up…sit down and take a look around you…fold your hands…take a deep breath. Attend. Adore.’
‘Learn the unforced rhythms of grace’
Modern life is often a disconnected life. We are cut off from healthy rhythms and cycles that give shape and meaning.
In our haste, we can easily miss the daily rhythms of night and day, work and rest, solitude and company.
There are weekly rhythms of work and Sabbath, family and friends, worship and recreation that become awry.
The seasons all but pass us by: the church year with its fasts and feasts and nature’s seasons inviting us to work and rest, reflection and renewal.
The invitation is to discover a tempo that leaves us energized not drained; a life in sync with God’s grace at work both in our hearts and in his creation.
‘I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you’
The invitation is not about adding more projects or programs to an already busy schedule.
The goal is throwing stuff off rather than putting more on.
‘Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly’
Life should feel like wearing a perfectly cut, lightweight jacket. It should fit comfortably and easily. Too often modern life feels more like a strait jacket.
Jesus calls us to live life to the full (John 10v10). This ‘fullness’ is not what our consumer-obsessed society thinks; more stuff, more wealth, more holidays, more leisure, more consumption. The invitation is for our lives to be so full of Gods love, power, generosity and hope that it over-flows to the stuffed-up (quite literally) world around us.