Soon after I finished high school, I moved to Asia. I told my family I would be back in a few months, but I was planning on going for good. I was overwhelmed by the pressures in the west to have a booming career, an efficient life, a nice house, and fancy things. So instead, I moved to a remote village in Cambodia. I lived in a bamboo hut, traveled in a canoe carved out of a tree trunk, ate rice for every meal, rotated three sets of clothes, and worked in the fields for just a few hours each day. Life was simple and slow with plenty of time to spend with people.
I could have lived the village life forever. But after about a year, God started nudging my heart back home. When I returned, I struggled to resist the hustle. I felt I had to be busy to measure up. Somewhere along the line, our society has created this idea that the meaning of life is found in what we do and accomplish. But our hearts never seem to be satisfied with the chaotic lifestyle that goes alongside that.
When we look at Jesus’ time on earth, He was never so hurried He could not stop to eat with someone, so busy he had to turn down those who showed up, so stressed he could not retreat into nature for prayer or to experience the bounty of creation. God is constantly reminding me that my worth does not come from how many boxes I check off. His goal for me is not that I do all things and be all things. His highest hope for me is that I will bask in His company and in the company of the phenomenal beings He has placed in my path.
And so, instead of shoving these things into the nooks and crannies of our schedules, Jesus gives us a new way to go about our lives: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).
So friends, instead of rushing through each day trying to finish, accomplish, or be better, let’s copy the cadence of Jesus. Slow down a little. Love those around us. For only then will we find what our hearts are searching for.
“The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house Of the LORD forever.” – Psalms 23 NKJV