There are twenty inches of snow outside my front door as I write, give or take a few inches. It doesn’t sound very grown-up to admit it, but I hope it snows again tonight. I do. With the snow, comes a pause. We are six weeks into this new year. I’ve been diligent and disciplined, carefully planning my time and dutifully working the plan. Those are good things. But a snow day or two? A chance to dissolve a bit into an unforced rhythm, to cease striving and just be? That’s a gift.
I live in the suburbs of a city that works harder, works faster, works more. A city of ambition and jostling and seeking a place, its vibe is one of always looking to climb higher. There is an energy about this city that can be felt far into the reaches of its bedroom suburbs. Do more, Be more. Know more. Seek more.
But what if you live here and you love Jesus? What does that mean? How does that look? It means that we need a snow day every once in awhile to remind us that He called us to abide in Him, He asks us to shoulder His burden, the one that is easy and light. He said that if we are weary, He will give us true rest.
And twenty inches of snow, thereby canceling every outside obligation so that I can catch my breath and inhale deeply of the pause.
Of course, snow is not rest for everyone. I have a friend who owns a company that works to remove all that snow from streets and sidewalks. She hasn’t slept in three days and would likely throw an empty coffee mug at me if I suggested that snow days are God-given rest days. It’s not the snow that’s the point; it’s the pause.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
God wants us to pause. He wants us to take a deep a breath and sink into His rhythm for life. He wants to remind us that the race is won. He won it. We don’t have to push harder and further and faster to fall into step with Him. He’s not racing away to the next thing. He’s here. He’s always been here. He’ll always be here.
The gentle truth of the gospel is that it blankets us, envelopes us in a peace of recollected calm. But we must be still to know God. The stillness? The organic rhythm that comes with living entirely in His grace? It’s not just for snow days.
It’s for Mondays and election days and humid days in July when the heat index is over one hundred. God calls us to walk with Him, unburdened, every day. He says that if we are grafted onto Him and we allow Him to nourish us as the vine nourishes the branches, we will thrive. He wants us to sit with Him, to match our breath to His, to be like Him. He didn’t fill his days with the busyness of striving. He filed His days with wholeheartedly loving.
When we drink deeply of His presence, we begin to understand what He would have us do. When we fall head over heels for God, that love spills out into our daily lives and love begins to be the mission. Love is what fuels our days. Love creates peace in our lives where once there was the frantic pursuit of self. We don’t find self—the self we were truly created to be—by running hard after it. We find self when we let God animate our days and we trust Him to direct our paths. We find self when we are still and quiet with God.