Pause

Playing cards with family, a doodle on a notebook, or a pick-up game of basketball. Should we really be spending time on frivolous activities? But then our eyes are opened: God is in all of this! We can play as well as work, study, or practice to the glory of God.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. It was not a promise that we would be happy or have all that we had dreamed. It was the promise of abundant life, full of experiences and relationships, rich with love and joy.

Take time now to reconnect to that abundance.

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Listen

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.”

Matthew 11:28-30

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Think

These words have been a great comfort to me. At 18, I decided to lay down the burden of alcohol addiction. I had been drinking for several years and it was exhausting. I felt like I was completely in control, but alcohol consumed and controlled me. I was exhausted from wrestling with my addiction and trying to control the whirlwind of drama that came with my actions. Jesus invites us to step away from whatever brings our weariness, and with the invitation comes the promise of rest.

Freedom and rest. What a gift! Many of us like to stop at verse 28 and just receive what Jesus is offering. What Jesus offers is not freedom from everything. He offers us rest, but also challenges us to follow him. We are being called to live into a new vision of who we are to be and what we are to do.

Michelle Thomas-Bush

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Pray

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

—Reinhold Niebuhr

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Go

Let us respond to the amazing love of God
With wild abandon and joyous laughter.
May our laughter reflect God’s delight,
And may our play be praise to God.

Michelle Thomas-Bush

Michelle Thomas-Bush spends her playtime kayaking, baking, and exploring the zip lines of North Carolina. She is associate pastor of youth and their families at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Come Thou Fount

Jim McConnell - reverbnation.com/jimmcconnell

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