Grace Lutheran Church • 6931 Edinger Ave • Huntington Beach, CA • 92647 • (714) 899-1700

We Don’t Have to be Restless – re:NEW Pt. 1

I’m burning the candle at both ends… I’m completely drained….
I’m basically running on fumes… I’m at the point of exhaustion….
I’m stressed to the max… I’m on the edge of burnout.

Have you ever heard yourself or someone else utter these words?
At one time or another, most of us have been there.

We live in a fast-paced world where the pressure is always on to keep up – with the latest news cycle, the latest cultural, wellness, and fashion trends, the latest technological advances, the latest music, movie, or television show, the latest enrichment opportunities for our children. The pressure is always on to keep us or to be left behind.

In response to this growing pressure, we’ve learned how to multitask – to do many things at once – various tasks at the same time. Many of us have even adopted the belief if we’re not staying super busy, then we aren’t being productive, we’re being lazy. Therefore, our default is always to say “Yes” rather than “No” to another project, responsibility, or commitment. “What’s just one more obligation,” we tell ourselves, “I can handle that, no problem!”

It is out of this spirit, many of us pride ourselves on our ability to be overachievers. We pat ourselves on the back for being able to get so much done during the day, even as we ignore the fact that we can’t seem to calm our thoughts, to turn “off” our running, internalized “to do list,” so we can actually sleep at night. And so, we begin our days tired. We joke about our need for coffee. We live on energy drinks between appointments. We push ourselves harder even as we continue to lament there aren’t enough hours in the day to finish what just has to get done.

We become like hamsters running on a wheel. We hurry and rush around — moving faster and faster but ultimately getting nowhere. We strive and strive but never achieve lasting satisfaction. We work and work but rarely if ever allow ourselves the time to enjoy the fruit of our labors. We engage our relationships in thin slices of time where our lives barely touch and certainly never experience any real depth. We go, go, go so much that when our pace slows down, we feel uncomfortable with stopping. We don’t know how to just be.
Eventually, somewhere along the way, we burn out. We hit the wall. Our tank reads “empty.” Stress gets the better of us. Our health – physical, mental, emotional – takes a hit. Some of us never recover. Many of us do eventually get back on our feet – only to step right back into the insanity of a life running in circles. Too many of us are overscheduled, overworked, and perpetually depleted. We live at a time where the greatest health threat we are facing is not a disease like cancer or AIDS; it is stress. Is this the kind of life we were created for?

Is continuing to live this way in continuity with the life that awaits us on the other side of eternity? Did Jesus come to save us on the Cross so we could end up killing ourselves by working to death? Join us this Sunday as we begin a new sermon series designed to answer these questions. Over these next few weeks, we are going to learn about rest – what it is, why it matters, what it looks like, and how we can enter into it. The kind of rest we are going to exploring together isn’t rest we have to manufacture. It’s rest that is given to us through our Creator’s gift of the Sabbath.

So, come and listen to Jesus as He offers us a clear invitation and a promise to rest. Come ready to just be – to reflect and spend time with our Redeemer and Sustainer. Come and receive freedom from the yoke of being enslaved to an overscheduled and overworked life.

Pastor Chris