“Spring Break” comes too late for my liking, so every year we take a week off in the winter. A winter break is one strategy to avoid the annual spring almost-burnout I used to experience.
Every year, we always take one week off in Febrary/March, and we always go to Grandma and Grandpa’s. It’s the ideal vacation spot: the price is right (free food and lodging); the boys get grandparent time (one highlight is getting to do the horse-poop chores with Grandpa!); I get to cook to my heart’s content and not do any dishes; and they live near The Black Canyon of the Gunnison (cross-country skiing!). On top of that, Ouray with its Hot Springs pool is only forty minutes away.
On day four of vacation I awoke in my in-laws’ guest bed, always nice and heavy with the warmest of blankets. The grandfather clock ding-donged 7:00 in the morning. Grandma was making her famous sourdough waffles (I could tell just by the sounds) while our boys played with Lincoln Logs and Legos (again, I could tell by the sounds). Yet in spite of these things, somehow my spirit felt stressed. How could this be? More than halfway through my longed-for winter break, I still felt an inner unrest. What was going on? Why the restlessness in an ideal situation of rest?
Thus says the LORD,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you shall find rest for your souls.”
The promise is that I will find rest for my soul if I walk in the right and good way. That is, obedience results in soul-rest. The deepest rest follows obedience.
This, like much of what I find in the Bible, seems counterintuitive. Jesus said to take His burden and yoke, and then I will find rest. The result of a burden is rest?
Rest is not always what I think it is. Rest does not automatically happen when I remove myself from daily responsibilites and go to Mom and Dad’s. Rest does not require a getaway but can happen right in the middle of day-to-day tasks. My soul finds rest when I walk in God’s paths. I know, because thus says the Lord.
Father, I stand by Your ways. I see Your movings and doings. I ask for the eternal paths, where Your good way is. What is Your path, Your way? Father, I take the steps on that path. I will walk in it. Thank You for Your promised rest for my soul.