We are a hurried, stressed, and frazzled people. We are too rushed, too busy, too tired. We don’t have enough energy, enough time, or enough drive. At least that’s how we feel. It is easy to think this is just the way it is, the reality of our culture. But we are not victims. We make choices. We choose to fill up our schedules. We choose to spend too much time on screens. We choose to eat junk food and go to bed too late. We choose not to seek the Lord for refreshment.
As I wrote recently in the blog “Creatures of Weakness,” we need to accept our creaturely weakness and embrace all the means God has given us to avoid burnout. To be sure, there are a lot of practical factors that impact our stressed and busy lives. Therefore, we need to evaluate our commitments and schedule. As I wrote in the blog “Feeling Crushed by Busyness,” there may be activities and responsibilities that you need to Diminish, Delay, Delegate, or Delete. But relieving your calendar is only half the battle. We still need to take care of our souls. Only God can provide true refreshment. As I wrote in the blog “Quiet My Soul,” Psalm 131 calls us to calm and quiet our soul in the Lord’s presence.
It seems I’ve written a lot about this subject! And yet, I often still feel burdened and frazzled. So what will I do? What will you do? Will we press into the Lord and find rest for our souls?
At the time of Jeremiah the prophet, God’s people in Jerusalem had walked away from him. They did not obey or follow the Lord. Through Jeremiah God warned them, pleaded with them, to turn back to him or face impending disaster.
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’” – Jeremiah 6:16, ESV
God commanded and called the people again and again to walk in the ancient path, the good path, and find rest for their souls. Sadly, their response is recorded: “We will not walk in it” (Jer. 6:16).
Will we make the same sad, devastating mistake? Or will we heed God’s call? Feeling hurried, stressed, and frazzled is often an issue of obedience. We ignore God’s invitation. Your soul can be burdened or your soul can be at rest. You can choose between the way of the world or the way of God.
Stand and look. It’s not hard to see. Ask for the ancient path. It’s a well-worn path. A path that countless men and women of God have walked down. A path of refreshment and feasting. A path of forgiveness and peace. A path of green pastures, still waters – a path of righteousness where your soul can be restored (Psa. 23:2-3). This ancient path is the good way. When you walk in it, you’ll find rest for your soul. You’ll find peace, refreshment, and the comfort of God.
Hear and respond to the invitation of our Savior Jesus:
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29, CSB