Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
~Matthew 11:28

 
Running to Rest
 
Rest areas along the four-lanes are usually full of eighteen wheelers of all kinds. I know each truck contains a driver who could tell some amazing stories of all the places they have traveled and all the people they have met traveling the open road. The rest areas I am sure are always a welcome sight to the drivers who have driven many hours and are ready to stop and rest.  Sunday evening I drove by a local park  and decided to stop and rest awhile myself.  The park was full of people enjoying the nice fall weather. Some were walking and jogging. Some were playing ball and frisbee throwing.  At the lake several people were  just sitting and fishing. There at the same lake I  saw ducks and geese of all shapes and colors and sizes.  There were so many laying in the sun in a grassy area near the lake it would have been impossible to count them all. It was as if on their flight south for the winter this was the rest area of choice. 
As I watched them I wondered if they could talk what kind of stories would the tell of all the places they have been and people they have met along the way.  Some stories would probably be happy, and some sad, but all full of a sense of adventure of being on the open road, or sky I suppose I should say.
There are days I dream of what a feeling of freedom it would be to just travel freely to wherever I ended up, stopping at rest areas along the way whenever I was tired of traveling. Would I get tired of traveling? I suppose at some point in time I would long for home sweet home.  They do say, "You never know what you got till its gone." 
This time of year in the Fall I always seem to get an itching to run away from it all.  I think this feeling comes from the dream I had as a child to travel with the fair. The fair usually came to town sometime from  the middle of September to the first week of October. The fair was the highlight of my year when I was a child.  I can remember literally running in the front gates to my favorite ride the Himalaya.  I would jump on all the rides without any fear, look up at the night sky, and dream of being far, far away from Tupelo, MS. Many years I watched the fair load up and leave. In my early childhood I watched it load on the train on a Sunday afternoon.  In my teen years I watched it load on eighteen wheelers.  I always cried as I watched the fair leave.  There was so much joy when it came to town to rest here awhile  and so much sadness when it hit the free open road and ran away.
I, as I am sure many adults do, miss the freedoms I enjoyed as a child.  If I decided to run anywhere now just from the pure excitement of wanting to be there, people would think I was a little "offer" than they think I am now. I do walk  very fast most of the time so perhaps I could get by with running and no one notice. But is there anything now that I am so excited to get to that I would want to run there?
This Sunday afternoon in the park I did think of the fair I used to run to get to and the Sunday afternoons I sadly watched all the fair people with cotton candy trailers, ferris wheels and himalayas load up and leave.  I thought of freedom. As I sat thinking I saw a family unload from a car at the park.  There was a tiny little girl - four or five years old, with long golden curly hair.  She jumped from the car, saw the ducks resting, pointed at them, and began to run toward them just as fast as her little legs would carry her.  Her mother called for her to slow down, but she continued to run.  As she reached the ducks laying in the grass, some of them moved a little, but most of them just continued to lay there and rest in the sun.  It was if they knew the little girl who sat by them on the grass  meant them no harm.  The little girl was so happy to get to the ducks.  The ducks who were just resting from their journey brought such joy to this little girl who ran so freely to get to them. 
I wondered in forty years or so would the little girl remember Sunday afternoon trips to the park. Would she remember what it felt like to run so freely to see the resting ducks? 
Today I know there is a spirit of freedom in each of us longing to burst out and run freely. Is there anything I get so excited about today that I would want to run to it now that I am an adult?  As I asked myself the question I knew what the answer should be.  His name is Jesus. I do have the opportunity daily to run to Him.  May all the joy and excitement of what it feels like to run to Him be refreshed in me daily. May I never take for granted the freedom He has given me, freedom to run to Him as a little child, freedom to find such sweet rest in Him.
Today perhaps you too should ask yourself this question: Are you running to find rest in Jesus Christ on your journey daily?  He gives us true freedom.  He gives us the promise of a sweet home in the Heavens that we may all run too one day. 
Run  freely today and find sweet rest.
 
jbp