Rest and refreshments at noon

If you want to be effective and productive in your life, you need to spend your energy ploughing your own ground and “looking after your own vineyard”. Take time to sharpen your saw. Do not get busy with other people’s business to the neglect your own health and life. Solomon charges us to take heed regarding this biblical principle. Let me share with you some spiritual nuggets and diamonds as well as practical tips on how to get a good rest during “the noon time” of your life.

During the heat of the day, the shepherds would lead their flocks to a cool, shady place, then recline and rest until the shadows lengthened. The sheep would sleep or chew the cud while the shepherds passed the time away with story telling. Resting is not spending your time in a profitless manner. We see Jesus answering the questions in the above scripture by saying “Come unto me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. In Him we find rest for the restless and the stressed. We find living water for the spiritually dehydrated. He also declares that He is the door and if anybody enters by Him, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. Remember, David says He leads me besides the still waters and the sun will not hurt you by day or noon time. This is an open invitation from the good shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Noon is that time of your life when you feel drained and with no energy to go on, when you feel like you are staggering under a load heavy enough to crush half a dozen strong men. It is that time in you life when you are thirsting for fulfillment, for meaning in your life. A time when you feel unproductive, when you seem to be looking after other people’s vineyards at the expense of your own. Let me submit to you that there is a river that makes glad the city of God. There is a place where you can come to recharge your batteries. In Christ, the sun will not hurt you at noon, but you will find rest and refreshment. He is our shelter and our shade. Solomon told us that, we can sit down in His shade with great delight for His fruit which drops from His tree is sweet to our taste.

Why do we sometimes feel drained?

Exposed problems are the only ones that can be solved. Is this just an interesting theory or is it something that can be supported from scripture? That statement has a biblical basis. Let us revisit the questions which God put to the first couple, Adam and Eve. 1. Where are you? 2. Who told you that you were naked? 3. What is this you have done? 4. Did you eat the tree that I commanded you not to eat? Why did God put these searching questions to them? We know that God did not ask these questions to gain information for himself. Before a problem can be dealt with, it must be brought out into the open. Some people think that by far the best way of dealing with unacceptable thoughts and feelings is to push them back into the unconscious, but as we are now seeing, that is a fallacy. Problems that are buried inside us rather than brought out into the light, work to drain us of spiritual energy. It takes a lot of emotional energy to keep things repressed. Healthy people are those who bring their thoughts and feelings into awareness – no matter how “unspiritual” those thoughts or feelings may appear to be, like the psalmist in Psalms 73.

Do not overload yourself beyond your capacity. Build a margin or buffer zone of safety in your life. Many people do not have enough margins in their lives. Consequently, they do not have enough emotional reserves to give to their wives and children. Quit being too busy and master the word “No” for non-essentials in your life. Avoid stress-producing environments. Remember, words if used carelessly can lock stress in a person. Our misperceptions can lock us into stress.

Even complaining drains our energy. As the children of Israel traveled through the wilderness, we read that at some point in time snakes bit the people who complained and murmured. This teaches that when you complain, you give the devil (the snake) a foothold or handle on your life.

Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die from it. Do away with the “what if” mentality i.e. jumping to the worse case scenario or conclusion, e.g. what if that head ache is a brain tumor? This only results in self-imposed stress.

Reduce frustration factors in your life by giving yourself enough time to accomplish your tasks and by evaluating yourself realistically. We are living in the day and age when everybody wants a piece of you. Cast down vain imagination and reprogram your mind. Keep a good mental health by taking heed to the Apostle Paul’s exhortation; be anxious for nothing, pray and maintain an attitude of gratitude. Stop stressing about your stress or else you will suffer from stress-related disorders. Rest for your soul only comes when you take time to learn from the good Shepherd.

E-mail: ekwembey@yahoo.com

November 2006
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