Now, rest is just one of the ways we receive the life of God. We stop, set all of our busyness down, and allow ourselves to be replenished. This is supposed to happen regularly. The original prescription was weekly. So why does rest feel like a luxury? Seriously, it feels irresponsible. We think we can drive ourselves like oxen fifty weeks a year, resurrect in a two-week vacation, then go back and do it all again. That is madness. My pushing and striving cut me off from the life I so desperately need. I don’t even think to stop and ask, Is this what you’d have me do, Lord? Do you want me to paint the bathroom? Volunteer at church? Stay late at work?
So God sends this downpour to keep me from squandering my vacation by running like a greyhound. He loves me too much to leave me to my own devices.
I’m back to the shepherd and the sheep. When the sheep follow the shepherd, they find pasture. They find life. Life doesn’t just magically come to us. We have to make ourselves available to it. There is a lifestyle that allows us to receive the life of God. I know that if I will live more intimately with Jesus and follow his voice, I will have a much better chance of finding the life I long for. I know it. If I will listen to his voice and let him set the pace, if I will cooperate in my transformation, I will be a much happier man. And so a new prayer has begun to rise within me. I am asking God, What is the life you want me to live?
If we can get an answer to that question, it will change everything.