Rest in This

September 7, 2023 | Read Time: 2 mins

By: Rev. Mark Sorensen

I once heard a story of two foresters who were competing against one another to see who could chop down the most trees in a single day. One was younger and the other was much older. On the day of the competition when the whistle blew, the young man went straight to work. With no hesitation, over the course of eight hours, he chopped down 25 trees. It was an impressive feat and, honestly, he knew it. He also knew the older gentleman didn’t have the stamina to keep up, much less to cut down that many trees. How? Because when he would glance over during the competition, he saw the older gentleman taking 10-minute breaks in the midst of the chopping.

However, at the end of the event, the young forester was in for a surprise. The older gentleman won the competition by cutting down not only 25 trees but, instead, 40 trees.

In shock, he asked the elder logger, “How is this possible?! I didn’t stop but I saw you stop every single hour for 10 minutes at a time, yet you chopped down almost twice as many trees as I did!” The older gentleman smiled and replied, “I will certainly give it to you. You worked hard. I saw all the sweating and heard the grunting. However, every hour when I sat down for 10 minutes, I did two things: one, I recovered; and two, I sharpened my axe. You were working hard but you were also working with dull equipment.”

Will that story ever preach!

In the Gospel of Mark, there was a moment in Jesus’ ministry when everyone was looking for Him. There was another miracle that needed to be performed, another teaching that people wanted to hear, another question needed to be answered. And when Jesus looked at His disciples, He saw that they were weary and tired from all that was taking place. So, what happened?

 ...He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

 We have seen in Jesus’ ministry that He would often go to quiet places to rest and simply “be” in the presence of His heavenly Father. Jesus knew the value of rest and He often encouraged the same of His disciples.

 So, let me ask you, how is it with your soul? Where do you need rest in your life? Follow the example of Jesus. Step aside. Rest. Recover. Remember that you are a beloved child of the King, and that is worthy of pause and reflection.

– Mark