LITTLE HOUSE ON THE FREEWAY

On the matter of “restlessness,” Chuck Swindoll, in his book Killing Giants, Pulling Thorns, writes: “Busyness rapes relationships. It substitutes shallow frenzy for deep friendship. It promises satisfying dreams, but delivers hollow nightmares. It feeds the ego but starves the inner man. It fills the calendar but fractures the family. It cultivates a program, but plows under priorities.” The matter of the harried and hurried home should alarm us, but it often goes unnoticed – we’re too busy to see the signs.

Beginning this Sunday, we will look at the matter of the Little House on the Freeway, which is based on the research and insights of Dr. Tim Kimmel. We are going to look at the causes and the challenges of the restless lifestyles we’ve adopted for ourselves; and, we’re going to consider God’s gift of “rest” that comes to us through a faith relationship that opens our hearts to contentment, intimacy, and service. The challenge of the “hurried home” comes from the reality of our contemporary Americana on steroids:

  • Our culture values it. We have new technologies that were supposed to give us rest in our efforts; instead, we’ve filled in any “time savings” with more activities. It’s hard to “rest” when you’re busily making your way through the “rat race” of the “human race.”
  • Business rewards it. Working for a salary rather than by the hour has its rewards – none greater than the company’s rewards. The salary gives the company permission to expect workers at their beck-and-call. Working from home means you’re never a few steps from the “office.” It’s hard to “rest” when the job is with you wherever you go.
  • The media exploits it. Ever hear of a news story where the subject is recognized for not being busy or not tending to a lengthy list of accomplishments? I haven’t. Our media reflects the value of our culture; busier is more productive…and that’s what gets noticed. There used to be reports on how people take life easy, but they’ve been replaced by the marathons and races run by the productive and the busy.
  • Sometimes the church encourages it. Even among God’s people, there is this tendency to require more and more from less and less. While the old “80/20 Rule” has been around (20% of the people do 80% of the work) for a long time, that doesn’t make it right. It’s hard for a home to find rest when even its faith-community has Dad going in one direction, Mom in another, and the kids going to the four winds.
  • Our egos demand it. Let’s be honest, we choose to be busy. We like to draw up and complete pages of “to-do lists,” check off the boxes as we hastily make our way through our days – which, too often, include Sundays…you know…the day of Sabbath “rest.”

The “bare necessities” of a home that seeks rest are:

  1. A “forgiving spirit” – A person who is unable or unwilling to forgive can never be truly at rest.
  2. “Living within the limits” – Whether we realize it or not, when we decide to walk away from God’s Word and the clear boundaries it establishes for our lives, we are walking into “no man’s land.”
  3. An “eternal perspective” – The soul that shares the body lives beyond the tomb, and its eternal destination has a time influence on our day-to-day perspective.
  4. Learning to “serve while suffering” – Jesus knew that rest doesn’t come in serving yourself but in serving others.
  5. By “managing your expectations” – The more we measure our significance by other people’s accomplishments and acquisitions, the less we’ll be able to feel at rest in our daily lives.
  6. Learning to “manage your strengths” – Stewardship is the conscientious management of the things that really matter.

Join us for the rest of the Sundays in September as we discover God’s “rest” for the “little house on the freeway.”