So recently I was reading the very beginning of the Bible. I don’t normally write about the specific things I learn directly from my reading but today I decided to share a surprising discovery. I hope you enjoy it and that it gives you food for thought.
If you know the creation story from the book of Genesis in the Bible, you have read that God created the earth and heavens. But you might not know that in between the words of the story, there are three surprising invitations.
It took God 6 days to create everything. The Bible also records that 6 times God looked around. HE SAW. Then He called it all good. I’ve never really noticed before that before God called it good, He saw.
God invites us to see.
In the middle of all His work God stopped, looked around and took inventory. He remarked about the good work He created. We are invited to stop and look around in the middle of our work. Find what is good and note it. Become familiar with recognizing good. It reminds us that God is near. Sometimes you cannot find what it is you are looking for if you don’t stop and see.
The text then says God completed His creating. His work had an end. Everything came to a stop.
God invites us to stop.
It doesn’t mean that He was done creating. The Bible is very clear that God continues to do a new work. But He was done with His work for the week. Enough was enough. He knew when to put down His pencil. We too are invited to stop. We are nudged to relax the grip of control over our affairs, knowing there is more to be done but yet saying, “Enough, it will wait for another day”. Our work is not meant to be the essence of our lives. It has an on and off switch.
Once God was done creating Genesis records that He rested. He literally ceased working**. His seventh day was different from the previous six. He didn’t work. He rested.
God invites us into a rest.
God invites us to have a time in our week that looks different; where we enter into a “rest”. A stretch of time that isn’t like the other days. Moments to walk away from the work. This rest is halting our regular gig in order to experience a break from it. (How that pans out for each one of us looks different.) To “rest” is to admit that God occupies the throne of all creation and He is the One who keeps your world spinning, not you.
These invitations opened up a host of questions inside my head.
- Do I regularly look around and see the good in my life?
- Do I acknowledge God?
- Am I familiar with noticing good things in my work or am I negative or critical?
- How comfortable am I with stopping?
- Do I know when to stop? Stop striving, stop worrying, stop thinking, stop talking..?
- How hard is it for me to stop….anything?
- Do I enter into intentional rest? (Not the same thing as being lazy.)
- My mind may be working even if I’m not, how well am I disconnecting?
- Do I rest from work and remember I don’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders?
These invitations from God surprised me. I didn’t know in the re-telling of creation, was also an invitation to see God, to experience freedom from pressure and to rest in the knowledge that the same God who is capable of creating EVERYTHING is capable of handling my “creating”.
Sure, God created it all. But through it He invites you and I to continually experience awe, relief, and renewal. I don’t know about you but that is appealing to me.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. ~ Colossians 1:16
**Quick side note. For me the meaning of “work” or “creating” is anything that we may generate in order for our lives to move forward; being fruitful or productive. It’s our 9-5 work, it’s the care for family needs, it’s the volunteerism we engage in. That’s my take on it.