We played a game as children called Red Light – Green Light. Maybe you remember it. One person has the role of traffic light, facing away from the others who are trying to be first to reach them. Green light – you can move. Red light – all movement must stop. Red light could be called at any time – and you would be out if you were caught moving.
Ah, life as a child could be so simple at times.
Things are different for most these days. It seems we are always going – trying to get to get things done, complete a project, respond to people, and so on. Society conditions us to be in a constant state of movement. I venture to guess that even a red light does not stop us when there is a lot on our mind.
What do you do when the light turns red?
Jesus wants something different for us. He invites us to put down the burdens of life and find rest by following his example and trusting his teaching. In his earlier statements, Jesus tells that a childlike approach to life provides more insight than one who is constantly on the go.
Jesus’ encouragement for rest is backed up by science. Studies by folks like the American Psychological Association and American Institute of Stress have concluded that consistency in rest leads to a boost in one’s immune system, restores energy, reduces health problems, releases creativity and increases productivity.
Sounds appealing! But how does one rest? Suggestions are…
- Be intentional: plan breaks daily and allocate a full day every week.
- Take walks: enjoy creation and release energy.
- Free your mind: put away the glowing rectangles or make a list of things on your mind to address later.
- Stop: walk away from a task for a few minutes when you hit a roadblock or feel fatigued.
- Pray: a simple chat with God, asking for peace and guidance – be sure to listen too!
Jesus invites you to put away your troubles, rest your body, mind and soul by trusting his way.