When I’ve reflected on my mini getaway to Titusville, I kept noticing how restful and rejuvenating the whole weekend turned out. I returned to my life in Los Angeles recharged and ready to tackle whatever came my way. I welcomed the flight back home, and the prospect of starting work the following day. This brief getaway turned out to be very restful, but it wasn’t a Sabbath rest in the strictest sense of the term. Let me give a little background first.
What has captured my attention has been the notion of restful activity or rest in the midst of activity. Charity and I assisted my mom with shopping for the big, weekend meal. Charity is my wonderful girlfriend of six months. She and I grocery shopped with my mom, which turned into a time of being with her. My mom knew what she wanted to buy, so Charity’s presence and mine was largely incidental. We didn’t exactly help with the shopping, but we spent the time with my mom. I’d go a little further with this to say that Charity and I served my mom by being with her. It was restful.
When the time came to prepare the big, weekend meal, this involved a little more work than the shopping. Despite this fact, I found working alongside my mom and Charity to be restful and rewarding. We had a banter going back and forth between the three of us. Humor characterized our conversation along with patient directives regarding the next stage of the meal preparations. In my own past, these types of family gatherings created tension and stress and a general pall hung over the whole time. None of that toxicity ever surfaced instead it was restful.
In each of the above examples of activity, the Lord showed me that serving others was the focal point. During the trip, I failed to pick up on that point even though I knew the time was restful. Jesus lived a life of service to the apostles and to the multitudes. He took time to serve, to be with people. The only times he spent alone were in the wee hours of the morning prior to a heavy day of service and ministry (see Mark 1:35,45). Jesus spent those early morning hours in the presence of God the Father in order to pour himself out in his ministry.
There were mornings in Titusville spent in the Lord’s presence. I served my mom and my family and worked alongside Charity, or I partnered with her in serving my family. Cooking the food, preparing the food, serving my family was work. All of it was work, yet peace and contentment flooded my body, soul, and spirit. I experienced joy and rest in the activity of serving my family. By God’s grace and mercy, he provided me moments to enjoy the pool and take afternoon naps.