Rest and Rise

By:  Blake Shearer
Collegeside Wellness Ministry Leader

R&R! For most people, this brings up the image of rest and relaxation at the perfect fall vacation spot. For me, as I have gone on daily runs around the neighborhood, it has meant Rest and then Rise. Rest and then Rise. These are the words that continue to play in my head.  
As we enter into what seems to be our new temporary normal daily lives, challenging a they may be, God continues to put on my heart Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find REST in me.” We see repeatedly where God would rest. Jesus would rest. Then, Jesus says to take rest in Him for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Here is a way we can practically see rest.

R – Recognize the Ruler: Take a moment to remember God is the ruler and take comfort in knowing that.
E – Enjoy God: Reflect on what God has done and continues to do in your life. With so many distractions such as televised media, social media, and EVERYONE in the house ALL DAY , there is power in focusing on enjoying God and the Good, Good, Father that He is.
S – Seek to Take the Next Right Step: Our human nature is to want to know the answers, know the ending, and solve the world’s problems. That’s a monumental task that is also insurmountable on our own. So, take a moment to see what the next step is right in front of you to do good.
T – Tell Somebody: When you’ve got the Good News, share it with people. More than ever, we as Christians can bring light to a world that is going through dark times.

Now for the Rise part. Once we have taken a moment time to Rest in Him, let’s Rise for Him. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and sound mind.” As I mentioned earlier, these are the thoughts that go through my head while I am running. Fresh air is good! Exercise is good! The sunlight is good! Take time each day to enjoy these things. Spring is still in the air, flowers are still blooming, and red Cardinals are still landing on the front porch and singing their songs. Go for a walk, a jog, or a run and enjoy these things. Maybe you’ve always wanted to run a 5k.  Now is a good time to train for that as well. There are resources like Couch to 5k (click here) or Run for God (click here) that can help give you training plans to get started, and the latter provides daily devotionals. Once you do take the next step, download Strava on your phone and use it to track your exercise and have a community and family of supporters encouraging your Rise each day. If you do so, be sure and follow me on Strava so I can enjoy the journey with you and celebrate in your success.

So, this week, be intentional to stop your mind from spinning by taking Rest in Him so that you can become centered. Then, if you feel so inclined, take the next step to join others on a daily exercise routine. Remember it’s not about how far you go, how fast you got there, but that you took the initiative and did it.

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