Earlier this week I had the chance to sit in on an emergency first aid course. One of the things that held my attention were the statistics about heart attacks in males compared to females. Roughly 10 years ago, men who had heart attacks accounted for nearly 70% of all documented cases. Since then, there has been a gradual shift where this trend has begun to even out over time.
What's startling to me about this trend is that one of the major contributing factors to heart attacks is stress. I've blogged about this topic before, but I believe that the root issue behind health trends such as stress-related illnesses can be directly attributed to our lack of simplicity in life.
Listen to Jesus' words in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
These few verses imply several truths. I could write about this subject all day, but I'm only going to touch on a couple of things in this post. Jesus invites us to learn from Him, implying that His way of life is one that is not only full (John 10:10), but also one that is restful. Seems like an oxymoron doesn't it? Often times our goal in life here in North America is to live life fast and loud. Don't believe me? Take a drive (or walk) through your neighborhood...how many fast initiatives do you see? We have speed limits to try and slow us down (do they work??), we have fast-food, express lube, made to order, 30 minutes or less guarantee type stuff all over the place...and I haven't even talked about church yet. In the church, our goal is sometimes to "look busy" or "create activity" because idle hands lead to sinful behaviors...right?
What if the greater miscue in life isn't that we have time on our hands, but that we don't have time or room to let God be God in our lives? If Jesus says to us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, do we not trust that what He says is actually true?
Let's dream for a minute. What if we did life differently? What if we took the time to hit the pause button, what slow down and let the pursuit of simplicity (which is a Christ-like virtue in my opinion) dictate how we live? How much more time would we find in our day? How much more rest would there be for our souls? How much greater understanding would there be of the concept of Sabbath?
If you can't slow down your life, are you really living? Life void of simplicity is one lived in the fast lane; but how much life did you miss along the way while going fast? Slow down, find rest for your souls...learn from Jesus cause He's the only one who lived life the way it was intended to be lived.