Rest

Adam Stout

READ : Psalm 16

I have set the Lord always before me . . . I shall not be shaken. (v. 8)

Only one of the creatures in the animal kingdom is associated with one of the seven
deadly sins: the sloth. But these few-toed, moss-covered leaf-eaters were not created
for speed. So it seems unfair to label them sinfully lazy. In fact, the quiet and peaceful
life of a sloth exemplifies something we could learn from them: the need to rest.

Many of us are terribly busy. Our hectic pace of life spins like a merry-go-round,
threatening to throw us off completely. So we go to the opposite extreme. We “veg” out,
passively watching program after program on TV. Yet somehow this inactivity fails to give
us the rest we seek.

Rest is not simply inactivity. It’s also a state of being. Both work and sleep are
blessings, but they cannot cure the restlessness of our hearts. Augustine put it well when
he said: “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” King David
celebrated this deep sense of rest in Psalm 16. The refuge he found in God centered his
whole being.

The sloth doesn’t just sit all day. It does things, albeit slowly and deliberately.
Chances are we too have things to do. But as we do them, let’s listen to the One who
invites our restless selves, “Come to me . . . and learn from me . . . and you will find
rest for your souls.”

PRAYER

Lord, may we find our rest in you alone.