Posted in Faith, Personal Development

Finding a Place of Rest

I have been engaged in an intensely busy season. Full time work, transitioning from church ministry, and preparing to move into a different home have demanded my attention and energy. I am tired. Yet I am acutely aware of the presence of Jesus carrying me through a full schedule. I don’t practice this perfectly, but I have learned that connecting with Jesus daily is crucial to thrive when life is hectic.

Finding that sweet spot with Jesus every day must be a priority. As a personal reminder to myself and to encourage you, I share an allegory about resting in Jesus that I posted previously.

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The Ivory Tower—An Allegory of Rest

I live in an ivory tower. I love it here. It is peaceful. It is quiet, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are no people rushing to and fro, no racing the clock to accomplish as much as possible before the day ends, no horns, sirens, and shouting piercing the air. I am safe from the slave driver, mercilessly demanding his servants to put in one more hour, earn one more dollar, exacting productivity at any cost.

It is beautiful in this ivory tower. The soft breeze enters through my open window and dances gracefully through the chamber. The sun smiles, inviting me to sit in golden radiance. Most glorious of all is the voice of my King. I can always hear him.  Sometimes he commands his troops; other times he calms a storm. Sometimes he  rejoices in song, and other times he gently whispers my name. No matter what he speaks, my King imparts his love, his strength, his acceptance, his confidence deep within my soul. You see, he is so much more than my Sovereign. He is my Friend, my Comforter, my Beloved, my Life. He fashioned the ivory tower for me. Then, he beckoned me to join him there, just the two of us. Of course, I accepted.

And yet when I first accepted his invitation, it was not with joy. I liked the city. I thrived on the rush of adrenaline from schedules and deadlines. I was strangely comforted by the demands of the slave driver and derived some sort of pleasure from striving to surpass his goals. But because I was acquainted enough with my King to know that his plans are best, I assented, somewhat unwillingly, to his invitation.

The ivory tower is not at all where I envisioned I would live. I imagined a palace of excitement and lavish living. I would host extravagant parties and entertain people of importance. I would open my palace to the poor, needy, and hurting, offering them food, drink, healing, and hope, and then sending them on their way. It would be the hub of activity, all done in the name of the King. And I would be at the center of it. In my home, I would embody the pinnacle of achievement, success, and generosity in service to the King.

The highlight of festivities in my home would no doubt be when the King would come visit. He would always be welcome, and I would hope he would come often. There would be a special guest room just for him with a secluded parlor so we could visit together, away from the clamor of my company. My mansion would be perfect.

But I never got a mansion. The King found me in the city. I was tired and broken, spent from the endless pursuit of significance. He sat with me, speaking words of life, pouring strength into my weary soul. Then he entreated me to come to his tower, where I would be close to him. Everything I could ever need would be there, and no matter where his travels may take him, I would always hear his voice. My heart was drawn by his tenderness. I was torn between the King and my intense desire that my dwelling, at the very least, be located near the city. That was the life I had known. The sincerity and earnestness of the King’s request captured my attention. I followed him.

The ivory tower was everything the King had said, and even more. I was awestruck by the elegant simplicity of the design. The surrounding gardens were impeccably manicured. It was what the King said, though, that won my affection. “I created this place for you, and I created you for this place.” That was the day when the King truly became my King.

I can leave the ivory tower whenever I please. It is my dwelling place, not a prison. I often visit the residents nearby and invite them to enjoy my King’s presence. But I have learned that I can never journey far from home. I depend on the rest and peace my King provides.

As odd as it sounds, sometimes, even now, I get restless in the ivory tower. Yes, even in the presence of my King. My former dream of palace life comes back to haunt me. Or the old lure of the city demands my attention. The voice of my King blends into the background and, I confess, I get easily sidetracked. Dissatisfaction sets in, and I envy the others that live where I used to be. I even toy with the idea of moving back. But only for a moment. My King silences the clamor and lovingly reminds me where he found me before bringing me here. I come back to my senses and rejoice in the knowledge that the ivory tower was created for me and that I was created for the ivory tower. This is my King’s gift to me, and I am a gift to my King.

I live in an ivory tower. I love it here, because this is where my King and I call home.

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Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, it is all too easy to get busy and distracted by life. I come to you, the Source of Life. Fill me with Your presence, and pour out Your peace on my heart and mind. Thank You that as I walk with You throughout the day, You carry my burdens and concerns. Help me know that You are near in each and every situation. In Jesus’ name.

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One thought on “Finding a Place of Rest

  1. WOW! This is beautiful, Joddi-Jay! I’m actually enjoying a sweet breeze under the pergola as I read the way you so beautifully penned this allegory.

    To this bit I said, “oh man–that’s me!” to:
    “I was tired and broken, spent from the endless pursuit of significance. He sat with me, speaking words of life, pouring strength into my weary soul.”

    Blessings on your sweet sister!

    Like

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