It seems inevitable, as soon as Monday arrives; we are already beckoning the return of Friday…and the weekend. Week after week, this cycle continues, until something out of the ordinary occurs. Perhaps, we look forward to a holiday, like Independence Day, where we are gifted with a bonus day or two that is added to the weekend! Or perhaps, we anticipate the arrival of our vacation to Rothsay, Minnesota to see a statue of the world’s largest “booming” prairie chicken.You know how it is…you take a full day or more to pack up the van…or camper, load the children into the back “arena” of the van, where they can grapple it out like MMA fighters in the octagon, for the next two to six hours. When you arrive at your “prairie chicken” destination, you unpack everything out of the van, and either set up camp or haul it in to your lodging accommodations, only to do it all again in repeat order three days later. During those three days of restful bliss, you battle mosquitoes, flies, ticks, rabid chipmunks, and days of fishless fishing. On the day you finally arrive back home, unpack everything into your garage or basement…where it will sit for the next week to ten days, until someone finally gets around to putting it away, you collapse onto your sofa and say, “Ahhh…I need a vacation.”
A few years ago, we took the family up to my parent’s cabin in northern Minnesota for a week. On the night we arrived, we took the kids to a movie, where we purchased one of those great big bags of popcorn for them to share…you know the ones that are like the size of a five gallon bucket, that comes with unlimited refills...by the end of the movie, my children (who you would think we never fed by the way they eat popcorn), had probably consumed three bags of popcorn totaling fifteen gallons worth, (that is an exaggeration, don’t take that literal…that much popcorn would be silly).
Day two, of the vacation, consisted of our oldest daughter having a TERRIBLE gut ache. After watching their dietary intake of the previous night, it was easy to deduce where the stomach pains were coming from. We were wrong. When the pains intensified for her, we finally took her in to the hospital…she was released from the hospital five days later, on the last day of our vacation. Her appendix had ruptured, and so my wife spent the five days with her in the hospital and the other three children and I spent our time driving back and forth three to four times a day between the cabin and the hospital. When all was said and done…we needed a vacation.
Since the fall of mankind, we have been seeking rest. We long for our days off. We beckon our weekends to come sooner. Children lose their minds in anticipation of summer break…parents lose their minds, during summer break. We are all seeking rest…and when we finally receive the rest that we are looking for…we often find ourselves just as tired afterward. Often the rest we seek is superficial…it doesn’t last, and we are left feeling just as “un-rested” as when we began our time of rest. I am learning that God has a different kind of rest prepared for us. He promises a rest in our future…a time when we will experience a perfect rest with him. Yet, he offers us a rest today. It’s not a “weekend” rest…it’s an “in Him” rest. I am learning that as I find a confidence and a trust in Him…He offers me a rest…a rest over my worries…my anxieties…my stresses…and maybe…someday...a rest during summer break. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…” Matthew 11:28.