I dreaded hearing those words, but I knew they would come…and they did!
I am on what seems to be a forever life journey from transactional (doing) ministry to transformational (being) ministry. I like to see things get done and love to serve at a full octane level. Well, that is beginning to change in my life as God has me on a pathway towards a more balanced lifestyle. It actually began about 9 years ago, and although it seems like the transformation is slow (at times), nevertheless it is happening.
I was preparing to sprint into January 2016 with a plate full of ministry and a bucket of energy to spare; my reality was that I tripped on the doorstep into 2016 and crashed hard about 12 days in. My personal energy level was below the line and so I was susceptible to flu/cold/bronchitis, and pneumonia. The perfect storm hit hard and down I went – I used up my sick days like they were Easter candies and needed every one of those days to resurface. I have now resurfaced and feel great, but a little wiser and a little more careful.
During my illness, God and I had another one of our talks where He proceeded to “make me lie down in green pastures” and “wait by a quiet stream”. The word that He wanted to instill in my mind was “REST”, and so I learned to rest.
During this time I read an article on “A word of encouragement for someone in a forced rest…”
Here is a clip of this article:
“There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it.” In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and there by “rests,” and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune. God sends a time of forced leisure, sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts, and makes a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives; and we lament that our voices must be silent, and our part missing in the music whichever goes up to the ear of the Creator. How does the musician read the “rest”? See him beat the time with unvarying count, and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between.
Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the “rests.” They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat the time for us. With the eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear. If we sadly say to ourselves, “There is no music in a ‘rest’’” let us not forget “there is the making of music in it.” The making of music is often a slow and painful process in this life. How patiently God works to teach us! How long He waits for us to learn the lesson!” – Ruskin.
As a musician, this metaphor was exactly what I needed to grasp the truth He was teaching me: it is good to take a rest and to prepare for the next part of the “life-melody” that God has for me.
Friends, take it from a guy on a journey… enjoy the rest periods of life for refreshing and renewal of the body, mind, and soul… the Shepherd will lead you there if need be.