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Rush or Rest?

Americans in general stay in a hurry. In a Reader's Digest article entitled, "Life in the Fast Lane" (February, 200, p 650, author Jim Gleick wrote, "We are in a rush. We are making haste. A compression of time characterizes our lives. As time researchers look around, they see a rushing and scurrying everywhere." In the article Gleick quotes John P. Robinson and Geoffrey Godbey who wrote in their book Time For Life,  "Sometimes American culture resembles one big stomped anthill." Aiding our stomped anthill approach to life are things like on-line banking/billing, instant messaging, fast-food, fast credit, express lanes, speed-dial (on telephones), high-speed (on the Internet and highway!), and remote control for the TV & CD & DVD! Multitasking adds to the daily dash. These days you can drive, eat, listen to a book or your favorite music, talk on the phone, send a fax or text message, read the newspaper, even shave and put on makeup and comb your hair — all at the same time, if you have a lot of nerve (or should we say a little brain?!). I could say more, but I must hurry on. I don't mean for this to be just another harangue about how busy we are and how big a hurry we stay in. We live in a fast world that is getting faster.

But Christians must remember - the hurry we are in may hinder us in being a holy people. It takes time to be holy, so the Lord tells us, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Bible reading, prayer, attendance at worship and spiritual work can easily get squeezed out in a world in as big a hurry as our's. Hebrews 4:1-11 talks about a rest God offers to His people, and about the danger of failing to enter it. "Rest" dominates that 11-verse paragraph, where the words "rest/rested" occur at least nine times. Here comes the kicker — verse 11 tells us to hurry and work hard to enter God's rest! The verse reads, "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience." The word "diligent" in this verse is from the Greek word spodazo (pronounced spoo-dad'-zo) and signifies, -to hasten to do a thing, to exert oneself" (Vine's Theological Dictionary). We could say the Holy Spirit urges us to stay in a rush for God's rest! The following story may give insight. A rich industrialist was disturbed to fmd a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren't you. out there fishing?" he asked. "Because I've caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman. "Why don't you catch more fish than you need?" the rich man asked. "What would I do with them?" asked the laid back fisherman. "Earn more money," came the impatient reply, "to buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make even more money. Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and become rich like me." The fisherman asked, "Then what would I do?" The industrialist replied, "You could sit down and enjoy life." Looking lazily out to sea, the fisherman replied, "What do you think I'm doing now?" The question is not are we in a hurry — most of us are. The question is what are we in a hurry for. Do you make and take time to rest in the things of God, or do you just stay in a rush?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ