Five puzzles, six books (or more), one game of Memory, word searches, and some tricycle training . . .
That’s what happens when we lose power or Internet at our house. Life slows down. When a daughter appears with board game in hand and a pleading look on her face, I have no excuse to give, no busyness to distract, nothing to prevent me from sitting . . . and playing . . . and resting with my kids
I complain and whine with the best of them about the loss of conveniences and comfort, and I’d prefer running water with temperature control and the ability to cook meals and refrigerate food any day of the week.
But a day without email and the telephone . . . well, that’s a welcome vacation sometimes.
Christ Himself called His disciples away from the crowds and busyness of their lives to spend time with him alone, like unplugging from ministry life with its hectic pace and demands.
Mark tells us:
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31).
In Jesus: The One and Only, Beth Moore notes that:
“the original word for rest in this verse is anapauo. Pauo means “to cease, give rest.” Guess what ana means? “Again!” We don’t need this kind of rest just once. We need it again and again” (p. 116).
And again . . . and again . . . and again.
Sometimes we need to go away–or unplug– to escape all that distracts us here so we can fix our attention on Him there. We anticipate seeing God in the specifically designated portions of our lives we call “Spiritual” and the times we have set aside as “Holy.”
But then the real work begins.
Then we must return to the daily life in all its mundane activity and we must carry into that everyday behavior all that we learned in the holy moments we had set aside.
I’m trying to see Jesus while my hands are elbow-deep in dish water and the laundry piles stack up.
Can mopping the floor be spiritual? Can folding clothes be a God-moment? Can doing dishes be part of my quiet time?
It’s what the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Not spiritual heart pieces and holy corners, but all that is in our heart searches after God.
In Scripture, Naaman almost missed finding God. He was a big-shot, who commanded the army of the king of Aram, a great man, a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy (2 Kings 5:1).
Hearing about Elisha the prophet, Naaman sought healing from the man of God, but Elisha didn’t even come out of his house to meet with him. Instead, Elisha sent out a messenger with some simple instructions: “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (2 Kings 5:10).
This was so . . . .basic.
And Naaman was annoyed, angry even.
Naaman wanted a magic show with special effects rather than an order to take seven baths in the Jordan. But, his servants challenged him: “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed!’” (2 Kings 5:13).
A few dips in the Jordan later, Naaman’s leprosy was totally healed. All because he obeyed God in something simple and unimpressive.
If we have our eyes set only on the spectacular, we will miss God’s healing and cleansing work in the mundane and the everyday.
Will I manage to keep this perspective over time? Probably not. I will likely grow weary and burdened with the stresses of daily busyness. I’ll need to retreat again, stepping away from it all to focus solely on God.
But then I’ll come back home where dishes and laundry and homework is what happens here and in that, yes even in that dailyness and routine, I can seek God’s presence, His input, His fellowship.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King