I’m at a season in life where the temptation to keep running is very real. There’s opportunities to pursue, ideas to implement, deadlines to meet. The problem with running constantly is that our mind starts to think we can’t rest. It takes on a perpetual fight mode and stays alert all the time. The line between night and day blurs and the brain constantly tries to keep up with our run.
Our desire to keep running also exposes the condition of our hearts. We start thinking if only I can do a lit bit more, run a little longer, I can chance the world and then I can rest. But we never rest. We start pretending to be gods, trying to accomplish all that we can with our own limited strength. We do it to have absolute control over our circumstances. We do it to have our way. We do it so we won’t have to wait and so we can be in the front of the line. Our constant running is an indicator of our pride. We run to please ourselves and to out perform ourselves. In the process, we are possibly running away from God.
When I experience the temptation to keep running, it has helped me to focus on rest. Not lazy, but rest! In the scripture, God speaks of Sabbath as an essential part of being His children. What is Sabbath? A time of resting and enjoying the presence of God. The practice of resting in His presence is to let our brain know who is in control. Without the Sabbath rest, we start pretending to be mini gods. Sabbath rest is an act of surrender and a posture of utter dependence in God. The brain usually resists such surrender. It wants to show who the boss is. It is quickly distracted by the next item in the list of things to do. All great things, things that make us feel good and make us believe that we are changing the world. But no matter how good the things we do, if we are constantly running ahead of God, we are missing the whole point. If we are constantly rushing through life, it’s a good indicator that we need Sabbath rest.
So every time your brain is tempted to run at 1000 MPH, go into your secret place with God. Talk to Him. Enter His rest. And then do it with Him. Not lagging behind Him, not running ahead of Him, but walking step-by-step with Him. He loves you too much to see you burn out doing the work He has called you to do.