Heavenly Investments: Trading Good For Best

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Labor Day weekend is upon us – a chance to squeeze in that last bit of fun and yes, hopefully some rest as summer winds down. My initial thought was: just what is it we’re resting from? Certainly for some, as a new school year begins, cumulative hours will be spent shuttling kids, attending games and events. For others, thoughts simply turn to fall activities such as sports, hunting and preparing for another holiday (!) season. It really all comes down to priorities and time management, which is a year-round struggle. So many activities vie for our valuable attention that it’s no wonder we need to be reminded to rest.

Priorities

It’s all too easy to over-commit, overdo and volunteer yourself into a frenzy…sometimes even to impress people who you may not truly like that much! Before jumping headlong into multiple commitments, consider this: you cannot draw water from an empty well. Sooner or later all that enthusiasm and energy will be depleted if you say yes to most everyone. A simple, healthy approach to life’s “should do”, “could do”, and supposedly “must do” enterprises: pray about each opportunity or responsibility, reevaluating what’s truly important to you. The roles you assume and even hobbies and other labors of love you enjoy are indeed good, but perhaps may not the best use of your talents that God has in mind for you. So, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you (James 4:8), guiding you towards what will most further His kingdom and purposes. I’ve personally found that prioritizing my time affords more margin for Heavenly Investments: praying, reading His Word, and just listening. I love the phrase “put God in the center and everything else will come together”. Over and over I’ve seen that it’s true.

True Rest


Okay, so we’ve set healthy boundaries by actively seeking God’s will…now back to the subject of resting. For me, to simply “Be still and know that He is God” (Psalms 46:10) is as essential and life-giving as breathing. That verse is also a loving command, a call to self-discipline for our own good, because He loves us and doesn’t want us to miss out on blessings because we’re tired. For some with physical challenges (even fairly minor ones like mine), it’s even more imperative to “unplug” and take a breather from life’s demands. If I wait until I’m running on fumes, I know I’ve lost my balance and need to refocus from doing to just “being”.  My own worst taskmaster, I must remind myself to not only draw liberally on His strength to labor, but then also rest in His love to recharge.

Nature: Just Breathe


One way I relax is by taking several mini-breaks outdoors in nature. It keeps my heart and mind lifted upward, which both soothes and rejuvenates my soul, no matter the season. I’m looking forward to the changing leaves, but I especially enjoy summer sunsets; their spectacular hues gracing the sky as the evening light diminishes, begging all of us to stop and breathe in His goodness and peace. As you read this poem, my prayer is that through your mind’s eye, your soul catches a glimpse of the awe and wonder I feel everyday, just “being” with Him.

“Sunset”

Gazing upon my garden,
the blooms take on a glow.
I go out to pick a velvet beauty.
As I near the threshold
cool breezes greet me sweetly
–A blushing cloud startles my eyes…
Bright pink, like cotton candy
Then deeper, deeper,
‘til only crimson waves are seen,
Licking up the sky.
Swallows soar, unburned, above
Quiet streets, shadows,
Winging home with dinner.

I forget my cares for now
Taking in God’s handiwork.
A priceless master piece
to be viewed by all…

Slowly, ever so slowly,
Crimson transforms to magenta,
magenta to rose,
rose to apricot,
apricot to plum,
Then plum fades into coal,
Studded with diamonds.

I silently withdraw, though in my heart I fly;
Holding forever the celestial splendor in the sky.

© Ladeena Bell
February 1992

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:23a

© Ladeena Bell  All rights reserved. (content & blog photos)

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