Today, the Men’s Choir performed four times. We got up at seven in the morning, sang two songs in a nine o’clock service and three in an eleven fifteen service in El Paso, TX, then drove for an hour to Las Cruces, NM and sang a full concert at two in the afternoon. After that was over, we drove straight back to El Paso and performed a full evening concert for the church we’d attended in the morning. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. We’ve been on the road for a week now, always moving toward the next thing with hardly a moment to breathe in between, and it’s beginning to take a toll on my relationship with God. Of course, I can’t blame my own poor choices on a tight schedule, but I have to admit that that’s been my excuse. “I’m too tired to really concentrate on prayer or Bible study now. I just need to relax with a little music and get some sleep,” I tell myself. “God will still be there in the morning.” So every morning I get up and God is still there, but I’m not anymore. I’m already thinking of where I need to be next, or worse, my head is full of the entertainment that I turned to for comfort and relaxation and I don’t give my Father a second thought. He gets the leftovers, a minute here or there of half-hearted prayer, but mostly I just keep going and doing and getting to the end of the day and feeling even more tired than the day before, so I spend a little more time “relaxing”, try to slip in a few more hours of sleep, and do it over again the next day. Then suddenly, this morning, God slowed me to a halt for a moment and told me, “You’re doing this backwards, Tim.”
Of course, those weren’t His words exactly. He said it more like this: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” When God brought that verse to my mind, I realized that I’d been turning to all sorts of things, like music and internet surfing and TV, to give me rest, and all they were really doing was further cluttering my mind. I assumed that spending time in prayer and Bible study was work (which in a way it is) and that I needed to be refreshed before I went into it, but now I realize that spending time with God is the only way to find the refreshment that my soul needs. I’m thirsty for the Living Water, and no amount of sugary, soda-pop entertainment is going to quench that thirst – all it’s going to do is make me fat, hyper, and more tired than ever. I can never be too tired or too busy to make time for God. On the contrary, the more tired and busy I am the more often I need to come before Him. He will give me rest, just as He promised, but first I have to come to Him, and all too often that’s the last thing that I think to do when I get weary and burdened. It’s time to change that, time to make God my one thing, as Rich Mullins so aptly put it, and to be willing to put everything else aside just so I can be with Him. It’s time to stop letting my weariness drive me away from God and start using it to push me into His arms as it should. I’m tired of being too tired for God, and I’m thankful that He never gets tired of turning my foolish heart back to Him. Come to Him, all you who are weary and burdened. He will give you rest.