I love the early summer mornings on the swing. A cool, gentle breeze calms the warming sun. No waves. No boats. No traffic. No clutter. No commotion. The only things I hear are some birds, the locusts, and an occasional fish breaking through the surface of the water.
Fifteen miles due east of the dock is Branson, Missouri. It is a complex and busy place. Its little roads are congested with minivans, motorcycles, and mega-buses. Shoppers and tourists. Locals and families on vacation. Retirees and thrill-seekers. Probably even a few thrill-seeking retirees. You can do everything from seeing comedians to racing go-karts to visiting the Titanic museum to shopping at an outlet mall. Because of the hectic pace and long lines on the streets, in the stores, at the attractions, and in the restaurants – frustration and stress exist.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. You will find rest for your souls.” –Matthew 11:28-29
Many of us live in Branson. Our lives are busy and crowded and complex. We fill our schedules with obligations and activities. Life is like stop and go traffic. Some of this is necessary, of course. Most of us have to work. Our kids have to go to school. We want to do other things in life. But I life is too cluttered, congested, and complex.
A swing on a quiet dock is calling many of us. Jesus says he will give us rest for our souls, which is the kind of rest we need the most. But, we have to go to him. We must create time, energy, and space in our lives so that we can experience God’s grace. The possibility is to live a more simple life full of balance and peace. The alternative is being stuck in the traffic jams of life and experiencing anxiety and discontentment.
Consider children. It’s possible that we could keep our kids busy with activity pretty much all day, everyday. We could watch them practice, play, and perform all seasons of the year. The danger is that our children become activity-rich and relationship-poor. They have experienced many things in life but are lacking in one of the things that matters most—a nurturing and loving relationship with their parents.
And so it is with us. We can go through the motions of life and experience pretty much everything under the sun except the thing we need the most—a nurturing relationship with our Heavenly Parent. The one who can give us rest for our souls.
A swing on a dock on lake is calling your name. A simpler life. His name is Jesus. I pray we all discover and experience him together and help others discover and experience him at The Water’s Edge.
The best is yet to come…