Less Means More - Hope 103.2

Less Means More

I like the story of a business man who wanted to go on a safari to Africa. It was something he wanted to do, but he was in a hurry and wanted to get going. When he arrived he hired 2 African tribesmen to carry all his belongings. On the first day they got up […]

By Chris WittsFriday 12 Feb 2016Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes

I like the story of a business man who wanted to go on a safari to Africa. It was something he wanted to do, but he was in a hurry and wanted to get going. When he arrived he hired 2 African tribesmen to carry all his belongings. On the first day they got up very early, packed up all his goods, and travelled fast. They had a long way to go, and he pushed them hard.

Next day, some routine – it was go go all day. Then again the same for day 3. But on the 4th day, when the tourist got up, no-one moved. They refused to budge and just say by a tree. He got a bit cranky at this and asked his translator what was wrong. “It’s simple, he said, “they’re waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies”. It’s a good expression and you probably know what it means. They needed a rest – they had to take a day off and in fact went on strike. They were not going anywhere until they had let their souls catch up with their bodies.

Ever had that feeling that you’re in too much of a hurry? Unfortunately that’s the way we live. We live in a world that is addicted to busyness, whatever is bigger, faster, whatever is newer must be best. It seems that if you want to be important in our world today, you’d better be busy and never have a moment to stop and reflect. The problem with all this is simple. We pay the price – we don’t let God come and speak to us if we’re too busy running our own lives. Sometimes we need to stop and rest. The human body is like an old-fashioned wind-up clock. If it is not rewound by rest, ultimately it will run itself down.

Did you know that practising some form of relaxation is one of the  greatest gifts you can give yourself? Taking time each day to quiet  your mind and breathe deeply, can make a big difference in how you feel throughout your day and into the night. And dedicating a day every week for mental and spiritual renewal is equally important. That’s why going to church is so good, sitting quietly in prayer and meditation with the Lord and to enjoy that experience.

I understand that the word “relax” has its origin in the Latin word  “relaxare,” which means “to loosen.” When we relax, we are in effect loosening tension, releasing tightly held energy and letting go. From the state of relaxation we can experience calm peacefulness.

Another great word is the Hebrew word “Shabbath” which, of course, is a day of rest. But it quite literally means to “quit; stop; take a break, be quiet. Sit down and take a look around. Don’t do anything. Don’t say anything. Fold your hands. Take a deep breath… .”

The Bible in Mark’s gospel tells about a day when Jesus was extremely busy. His life was on the move all the time, and there were so many demands on His time. And Mark says “that evening after sunset all who were sick or had demons in them were brought to Jesus”. In fact, the whole town gathered around the door of the house (Mark 1:33). Think about that – the whole town coming to your door?

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How would that be?  V34 says “and Jesus healed many”. A lot of people – all and many. It was not a nice orderly line with people waiting patiently – it was confusing, pushing and shoving, wanting Jesus’ attention. They were in a crisis and Jesus was here handling all this noise and demands. But He kept going. But the next morning He did something very important. V35 ”Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray”. So far – so good. He needed time to stop, relax and pray to His Father. But of course that didn’t last very long because Simon and his companions went looking for Him “What are you doing here? Everyone is looking for you” (v37). They were in a panic and needed Jesus back with the people, but Jesus knew what He needed – time to recuperate and rest.

Sometimes we must stop and allow our soul to catch up with our body. Stop running and spend time in prayer with Jesus today and you’ll be surprised how precious it will be, and you’ll feel better. Have you got a sanctuary, a place for yourself, to stop and think and pray? It can be 5 or 10 minutes, or longer. But as long as you catch up with yourself. We are mistaken by thinking our identity comes from being busy and hectic, accomplishing things and achieving. But sometimes we need to pause and listen to God’s still, small voice.