These words have felt like an invitation that some days feel too good to be true. Come to me.
It’s for those who are weary and need to find rest. It’s for those willing to stop and consider if there might be a need for rest that could be found outside of themselves. There is a range of tired. And sometimes it’s a day of big demands or a season of tragedy. Sometimes we can shake off the tricky troubles with a good long run. Sometimes we can move past the painful with a good book or a maybe it’s time that eases some aches. There are endless options when it comes to relief or rest, but there are three things I’m learning aren’t just churchy suggestions. They actually change things. There are some things that actually give the eyes of our hearts new lenses. Things that allow us to see truth, remember where strength resides, and withdrawals the power from that which never held authority over us in the first place.
When you find yourself interested in hearing the words, “come to me,” from the one who does hold the authority to offer peace and shield your heart; consider this as a way to practice what I’ve come to call “ceaseless awareness.” It’s a way of not just putting back on the clothing of peace, but never taking it off.
3 Ways to Practice Ceaseless Awareness
Worship. I actually went to church today after a long week of asks, and frankly didn’t “feel” like it. And when we began to sing, it took me a few minutes of listening before I started to notice the shift. It wasn’t that anything had changed in my demands, but their threat of overwhelm was quieter. I think that’s what happens when we linger long enough in praise. I think the bigness of our God quiets the loud demands of the lesser, and puts things in their proper places.
Pray. There are millions of moments that beg a softly spoken aspiration. A quick, “God, help me. What now?” Throwing out these quick-one-liners happens a lot when we are practicing ceaseless awareness. And they are legitimate. But I’m talking about prayers that are so strategic they push past the pressures that prick our peripheries, and they bring power. Starting your prayers with “God, you are ______,” will probably influence what comes out of your mouth next. When we remember who is in control and what kind of father he is, it impacts what comes out of our mouths next. We ask differently.
Ask yourself a really important question: “What is true?” I think there’s a reason why the armor of God includes a “belt of truth.” It’s just too easy to believe things that aren’t founded in truth. It’s too easy to recognize threats and hand them power. When we ask this question, we get a clearer vision for what we’re actually burdened by… and we deal with that without the clouded view of the mistruth surrounding it.
Ceaseless awareness is a beautiful way to live. But in those moments when we need rest, when we need to plow a particularly gargantuan field; let’s listen to the invitation we’re offered.
“Come to me, you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30