Minister’s message: How to take a break

A quote that is attributed to Aristotle observes that “nature abhors a vacuum.” He based his conclusion on the observation that nature requires every space to be filled with something, even if that something is colorless, odorless air. If that is true, nature must have considered my summer season a vacuum as it was filled with expected and unexpected stuff. In the last month of this season, I am finally feeling ready for summer but it has passed me by.

This is hardly news to southcentral Alaskans whose summer seasons tend to be manic no matter how careful we plan our time. With near twenty-four hour daylight, the “salmon rush”, camping, visiting family and friends, we hardly have a lack of things to fill our time. This feels great in May after a winter season that tends to begin a month too early and last a month too long. However, by August we can wonder why we are dragging a bit and looking longingly at the approaching routine of school and the disciplines of making a living.

The news has made much of Elon Musk’s transparency when he recently admitted he worked 120 hours a week and that was “wearing on him”. That admission was enough of a scare his investors send the stock of his company, Tesla, plunging dramatically.

Jesus knew the crush of demands upon His time. In Mark’s gospel it describes a busy time in which Jesus and His disciples didn’t “even have time to eat”.

Mark 6:31

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

What was Jesus’ response to this? To put in more hours? To keep skipping lunch to meet the demand? No, His response was “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” He retreated, took a break, punched out, went incommunicado.

It takes a lot of courage to hit the pause button. Many of us are rather hard-wired to respond to the demand for “more”, more of our time, more of our precious resources. To not provide it can trigger anger and disappointment in those who are demanding it.

Since we can’t always control the demands on our time or schedule, it is important that when we are able to, we should look for a way to find rest, not only for our bodies, but our souls as well. It is Jesus’ promise when we follow His example:

Matthew 11:29

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Rev. Stephen Brown is the pastor at the Kenai New Life Assembly of God at 209 Princess Street in Kenai.

More in Life

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show

Traditional ingredients like kimchi, ramen and tofu are mixed with American comfort food Spam in this hearty Korean stew. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Warm up with army base stew

American soldiers introduced local cooks to some American staple ingredients of the time: Spam and hotdogs.

Peninsula Crime: Bad men … and dumb ones — Part 2

Here, in Part Two and gleaned from local newspapers, are a few examples of the dim and the dumb.

Minister’s Message: What if Christ had not been born?

It is now time to look at the work and life of Jesus Christ.

Homemade masa makes the base of these Mexican gorditas. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty trial and error

Homemade gorditas present new cooking challenge.