We are not computers. No surprise, hopefully. Kinda difficult having a relationship with a machine.
We were crafted and created by a relational being. He did not make us to be a collection of on/off switches. Nor does our world consist of mostly either/or options. Personality and potential, nuance and possibility – they add spice to relationships. The Father could have made pre-programmed entities that had no choice but to obey him. But they could never love him. Not really. Not they way he wants to love and be loved.
We are not computers, but we are prone to think like one – in binary. We imagine that everything boils down to an either/or equation. We either work or we rest, for instance. Our idea of balance is to find the proper percentage of each, and then we will discover the good life.
The problem is, we are lousy at determining that percentage. And even when we do think we’ve landed on it, we are even worse at living according to our own conclusions. And so we see-saw between too much of one and too little of the other. We tend to overemphasize the work part, resting only as a means of increasing our capacity to produce.
The Bible suggests an entirely different paradigm, one that is not dualistic. One that actually allows us to work and rest at the same time. To work from a place of rested-ness, that is built on the concept of abiding and results in a manifestation of the Life which dwells within us.
In shepherding God’s global workers, we must beware of stressing one or the other – work or rest – in a way that ultimate makes both ineffective. As we rest in the work that our Shepherd has done on our behalf – and as we rest in the place in our Father’s heart that he has secured for us – we are enabled to work in a new way. And the only way we can exhort missionaries to rest in such a way is if we are resting ourselves.