Perhaps the scarcest commodity in the world today is rest. Do you agree? If you asked the typical person how they were doing twenty years ago, they would unthinkingly reply, “Fine.” Ask anyone today, and the most common response is, “Busy.”. Research shows people are working fewer hours and taking more time off than ever, so how can everyone be so busy? I suggest it’s a matter of priorities. There are more options and demands for our time than at any other point in history.
Not wanting to miss out on anything, we cram more into our schedules. Unable to cope with the insanity in the number of choices available, we become paralyzed with indecision, leading to us falling behind in everything. Jesus promised His followers rest, so there has to be a better way, right? I believe there is. I believe finding rest is not only possible but essential to our discipleship.
It’s probably not news to you that the first thing to get left aside when life gets too busy is the time we spend with God. This is the opposite solution to finding rest. If you want to know peace, everything in life must begin and end with Christ. Carving out a regular time every day to spend in prayer is the key to finding rest. Find a time and space that works for you. I believe it’s important to do this at the very beginning of the day for a couple of reasons.
First, it shows your number one priority is Jesus. Our priorities reveal our hearts. If our first desire is to flip on the news, check our email, or scroll through social media feeds, it says Jesus is not the most important thing in our lives. If Jesus is not first, you will never know peace.
A second reason to carve out time with the Lord first thing in the morning is that it may be the only time of the day when you can eliminate distractions. Once the rest of your household begins to stir, their agendas will inevitably begin invading yours. Spending time with Jesus before others begin calling for your attention probably means you’ll need to set your alarm thirty or sixty minutes earlier. I can tell you from experience it won’t kill you. It will be difficult at first, but I promise the results will far exceed the effort.
Finding rest begins with spending regular, uninterrupted time in prayer with your Creator. If you begin your day in this manner, you will find your heart drawn toward helping others, spending more time in the beauty of His creation, and taking better care of your body. We do these things because we want to honor God in everything we do. As we instill these healthier and God-ordained habits into our lives, we’ll find the rest He promises to those who love Him (Matthew 11:28).
When we live according to His ways, stress melts away from our over-busy lives. Seek God first and you will find life as He intended for it to be. God did not create you to be stressed out, busy, and full of anxiety. He created you to reflect His glory to a dark and dying world. It starts with realigning your priorities. Get up a little earlier tomorrow and spend time in prayer with Jesus and meditate on His Word. You don’t need to be busy. All you need is Jesus.