“About halfway up the hill was a pleasant arbor
made by the Lord of the hill for the refreshment
of weary travelers. When he got there, he sat
down to rest. He pulled his roll out of his coat
and read it; it gave him great comfort. He also
reflected again on the coat that was given to
him when he stood by the cross. At last he fell
asleep. It was a deep sleep. This detained him
there until it was almost night.”
I have noticed that there a number of people around me that are tired. There are a number of family members wearied from life’s journey. Real life circumstances that simple answers will not fix. Life has a way of plainly reminding us that problems will abound. Clouds on the horizon can quickly make their way toward us with little warning.
There is a place where wearied travelers can come and their souls can be soothed from all our striving and frustrations. I had to go find the quote from The Pilgrims Progress. Christian making his way up the hill finds a place of rest along the journey. I think that is the key component. Rest comes along the journey. Turning around and going back or making our way to something else will not produce rest. It will really only produce more frustration. Because the destination of the original goal is the only thing that will produce satisfaction. If I want a cheeseburger from Kansas City’s Wesport Fleamarket, I can change the destination to Freddy’s and get a good burger but it will not be a Fleamarket burger. I’ll be full, but only for a season.
Yes the only proper rest is rest along the journey that we are to take. So perhaps that sheds some light on the grace of the matter. You only find yourself weak and worn, persevering and wearied, when you are on the journey you are supposed to take. I think that kind of direction is what makes the clouds break and the forest pull back and leave you in a wide open place that bids you in and says “rest.”
But be careful not to look for a rest program. It may not be a hammock. It may be the web of hands of friends together that tell you to stay for a while and they hold you up. It may not be a canopy but the carefully placed employment or group or city that rids you from the elements for a while. It will certainly not be found in a self help book but a friend like no other that tells you that you are alright and that your life has meaning and purpose and value.
When the arbor shows up. Rest.
But do not sleep to long. Because an arbor is not the destination.