Last month my husband bought me a new truck. Prior to getting it, I had only driven a truck twice, and have driven a small car for the past four years. It is definitely taking some getting use too in the driving department. One thing I have really enjoyed about this truck is the dashboard has a digital option for the speedometer. After just two days of driving, I quickly realized that I rarely come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
The speed limit on the road that leads to my house is 30 miles an hour. I kind of knew I have always done a rolling stop at stop signs, but I didn’t realize how bad I really am at truly stopping until I started driving the truck. Saturday when I looked down during my “Stop” at the stop sign, I realized I typically never get below 10 MPH an hour when I come to a “Stop.” Even after recognizing it and trying to make a concerted effort to purposefully stop I was still turning at 5 MPH. It really was eye-opening. Imagine my surprise on Saturday when God started speaking to me in my “stop.”
God has called us to a day of rest, the Sabbath. God took one. The Sabbath is part of the Ten Commandments.
Jesus took time to rest. Yet, in our society today we hardly take time to pause, let alone stop. We rarely take time to completely stop everything and focus on God or rest.
We live in world that is constantly on the go. I look at my schedule. While I re-prioritized my life two and a half years ago, I still have little margin. I look at my cellphone and realize I am constantly connected even though I am no longer on call 24/7. My social media is full of updates and likes, yet my relationships seem superficial. The things I want to do I have little time for without major planning and even then it sometimes fails. That is not how God designed me to live. He didn’t design any of us to live that way.
We are called to live like Jesus did. Jesus often pulled away to be alone. If Jesus took time to stop the busyness of life and ministry to get alone, how much more should we?
- Sometimes Jesus’ alone was by himself.
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Matthew 14:13
After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Matthew 14:23
- Other times that alone was with those closest to Him.
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. Matthew 17:1
- Still other times, he went alone with all his disciples.
Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant. Mark 4:10
There is a Proverbs that states If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge. Proverbs 19:27 The ten commandments are the Lord’s instructions. Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus again instructs us to rest. Rest is defined as cease [stop] work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. When we ignore God’s instruction to rest, we are turning our back on His knowledge. He doesn’t want us to pause, God wants up to give ourselves times where we stop everything alone, with those closest to us, and in small groups.
Stopping to rest is a choice that we have to make. Just as I have a choice at the stop sign to pause and do the rolling stop or to truly come to a legal stop. I have a choice to do things my way and run on empty trying to pack more into my busy schedule. Or I can choose to live God’s way and honor His day of rest and allow that time to recharge myself in Him, to connect with a few close people, or to use it to connect with a small group. I think I will choose to stop!