Friday, December 08, 2006

PTO Time

Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV)
1 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all my inmost being; praise His holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;
3 Who forgives your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing, so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.

Good morning!

I used to work for an employer that gave paid time off, more affectionately known as “PTO” time away from the office. Basically, this meant that an employee had the privilege of taking paid time off away from work to rest, recreate, or sleep. It combined sick time, vacation time and personal time under one big umbrella. I loved taking PTO time, because I never had to explain whether I needed time off due because I was sick, or I just wanted to go do something fun with my children, or whether I needed a mental health break from the daily routine. Have you ever called in to work sick and said, “I’m sick” and didn’t finish the sentence, “I’m sick of work and I need a break now!”

Even the Good Lord took a seventh day to rest when He created the heavens, earth, and humanity. One of the first lessons we learn in scripture is that we need to take time to rest and rejuvenate, allowing those creative juices to flow freely once again, and allowing the Father to restore our life to a healthy and whole balance. I’m the worst offender at not taking a day off occasionally. I don’t know if it’s an inborn trait due to my genetic predisposition as a female, or whether I’m just not very smart. Taking time to rest and reflect is essential to good health. We all need down time. Do you find it hard to make time for yourself? Do you feel self-centered when you choose to stop and rest?

King David had a great affinity for carving out time with God. David knew God would reshape his heart and give him new life when he made time to praise and worship the King. He understood and took advantage of the Father’s amazing benefits package. When David made time to praise, pray, and reflect on the enormous work of God in his life, he found himself basking in the freedom of being truly forgiven. All of his human weaknesses and infirmities healed, every one of them, and David recognized he was being rescued from the pit of life itself. David found great joy in God’s loving, compassionate heart and was totally satisfied just to sit in His holy presence. Worship and praising God helped him feel like a kid again, happy and carefree. David felt as if he was flying higher than ever before, just like an eagle soaring through the sky.

The weekend is here, and in this very busy season of Advent, we find ourselves rushing around, trying to cram a lifetime into a few short weeks, as we shop the malls, visit friends, clean our homes, and decorate trees. Take a break! Stop and think about what God has done for you. Make time to worship and praise Him today. His love is the greatest benefit you will ever receive. Come to church this weekend, and tell Him how much you love Him. Let Him restore your life, heal your diseases, and make you whole again. See you at church!

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the ability to recognize your need to rest in the loving arms of the Lord. He is waiting for you to stop, breathe, and spend some quality time with Him. Will you make time for God today?

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