“Momma, I’m glad we’re going home.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I need to stop the fun for awhile because I am so tired.”
“I understand, honey; mommy’s tired too.”
Those were her words today while driving home from grandma and grandpa’s. Two days of non-stop entertainment with the full attention of grandparents has a way of wearing out the most willing of participants. Like us, I am sure they are resting well tonight, in the comfort of quiet and with their routine returning to usual. My daughter and son love visits with their grandparents. Why?
Because of the attention. Because of the intentional effort put into their visits. Because sometimes, grandmas and grandpas better understand the value of time and the giving of it therein.
They’re not too busy, too bothered, or too bogged down with the world’s agenda so as to neglect their gift of influence upon another generation. They are on the backside of some valuable lessons that have taught them to appreciate the simple joy of investing in our Father’s most precious commodity—human life.
But investing, both in the lives of children and in adults, comes with a price tag. It often invests tired and weary and with the aches and pains of knees that prefer the couch rather than the floor or the baseball field in the backyard. It requires that the will supersedes the flesh, especially when the flesh is crying out for some quiet amidst the invasion of words that so adequately flow from an endless supply of questions and needs that refuse their silence. It requires an open mind and welcoming arms, even when ideas don’t match and visions don’t level the same.
Investing in people is hard work. But it is God’s work for each one of us. Our holy requirement as participants in the Great Commission … as priests in the household of believers. He means for it to cost us something. Not because he relishes our slavery to the task, but rather because he delights in the lives of his creation and in giving each one of us the privilege of savoring accordingly. Simply put,
We don’t have to invest in people. We are given the delightful freedom to do so.
That being said, Jesus understands our weary. He spent his earthly pilgrimage investing in the lives of people. On many occasions, his need for solace would require his absence from people. He wasn’t afraid to tend to this need. Many places in Scripture record him pulling away from the crowds to find his soul’s peace with his Father in private (Matthew 14:13; Mark 1:35; Mark 6:31-32; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:15-16).
Just like my daughter’s need to rest from the joy of relational output, Jesus, too, needed his rest from the crowds. Time with his Father in quiet solitude was like going home for Jesus. Why?
Because of the attention his Father gave him. Because of the intentional efforts of renewal afforded him in the pause. Because God better understands the kingdom value of what time with him will seed:
Further investment in the stuff that really matters.
I understand my daughter’s need for the journey home. The excitement that surrounded her departure from our routine and our very scheduled life was matched by her enthusiasm to return to the same. She loves coming home to rest, and so do I. We are a people who need our Father’s rest. But in between the going and the coming?
Lots of fun. Relationships that count. Love that grows and hearts that better understand how kingdom investing really breathes.
I don’t know how this strikes you today. We all, every last one of us, are heading home. This life is but a breath, whether we are “highborn” or of lowly estate. The clock is ticking and our weary will soon be laid to rest at the gates of heaven. What we do here matters for all of eternity. The privilege of sacred investment is a gift to us from our Father. What we choose to do with such influence is left to our discretion. He will never force us to seed his grace and love into the lives of others.
But he wants us to. Not because our crowns will boast heavier and more bedazzled with the jewels of his favor, but rather because he has seeded his grace and love into our hearts through the unimaginable gift of Calvary’s cross. And that kind of investment, my friends, should shake our complacency and force our knees to the floor in gratitude and toward the intentional sowing of Godly influence into the hearts of others, especially our children.
Perhaps, like my daughter, you are in need of some rest this day. You’ve played hard and loved real. You’re routine has been blessed with the interruption of relationship, and you are weary from the doing. Your Father is calling you home for some solace and some attention. He understands your requirement, and he is ready to touch your tired with the sacred salve of his perfect intention. Come home to Jesus, and find your soul’s peace. He is waiting to invest his love into you. Thus, I pray…
Give us the wisdom, Father, to know when we are in need of your rest. You, alone, are our rock and our fortress and the seeding of our strengthened hope. Forgive me when I fail to come and when I falter in loving others because I have neglected my time with you. My life is but a breath, but for as long as I am breathing its measure, I want to spend it wisely and with your perfect intention guiding my steps and blessing my obedience. Thank you for the privilege of investing your love into the lives of others and for the privilege of sitting at your feet to receive the same. May Sabbath rest be my portion this day. Amen.
Copyright © October 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.