At dinner the other night, my wife and I were discussing the changes that will likely be coming from Congress and our federal government on taxes and a lot of other things.
“Why had the stock market jumped in the past two days” she asked.
“The market is assuming a deal on taxes and the fiscal cliff is going to be reached,” I said.
“But taxes will be going up on everyone, business included. Why would that be good news?”
We spend considerable time and effort to control our lives and what happens to us. We hate uncertainty. We hate not knowing what’s going to happen next. We create elaborate structures in our personal lives and our work lives to minimize uncertainty. Uncertainty means we are not in control, and if there’s one thing we absolutely hate, it’s not being in control.
We consider uncertainty a burden, and we will go to great extremes to reduce or eliminate that burden. The stock market will accept (for now) higher taxes and costs because, well, at least uncertainty will be reduced. We will create new burdens to ease the burden we think is too heavy, because all we think about is a respite, or rest.
“The burden borne by mankind is a heavy and a crushing thing,” says A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God. “The word Jesus used (for burden) means a load carried or toil borne to the point of exhaustion. Rest is simply release from that burden. It is not something we do, it is what come to us when we cease to do. His own meekness, that is the rest”
Tozer is paraphrasing what Jesus said as recorded in the gospel of St. Matthew. He described himself as meek and lowly in heart, and said it is there we will find rest.
In today’s culture, seeking rest in meekness seems tantamount to becoming a doormat to be walked upon – not a way to find rest. Yet, like so much else that Jesus taught, meekness is counterintuitive. It does not mean to become a doormat; instead, it means to become more like Jesus.
Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been discussing Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. This week concludes our discussion of chapter 9, “Meekness and Rest.” To see more posts, please visit Jason’s site – Connecting to Impact.