Archive for August 12, 2009

Aug 12

Books on Busyness and Restoring Rest

2009 | by Parker Landis | Category: Books,Recommended Link,Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, Ryan mentioned the book The Overload Syndrome, by Richard Swenson.  This book is about identifying and combating overactivity, overcommitment, busyness, and stress — all of which have become the norm for the average American. Swenson writes from a Christian perspective and from his expertise in the medical field. His erarlier book on the same topic, Margin, is also very helpful. Also instructive on this topic is Charles Hummel’s now-classic booklet Tyranny of the Urgent. But perhaps less well known is the full-book-length version, Freedom from the Tyranny of the Urgent. May these books help you to restore a restful schedule!

Aug 12

Spurgeon on Mary and Martha

2009 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Quote,Recommended Link,Sermon Follow-Up

Last Sunday, we looked at Mary and Martha’s hospitality to Jesus in Luke 10:38-42 (audio here). I’ve since had the joy of reading Spurgeon’s sermon on the story. Here are a couple of highlights.

To those busy do-ers, like Martha, he says:

Perhaps, you are a very hard-working man. You have very little rest during the week, and in order to bring up your family comfortably, you strain every nerve; you live as you should, economically, and you work diligently; from morning to night the thought with you is, “How shall I fill these many little mouths? How shall I bring them up properly? How shall I, as a working man, pay my way?” Very right; I wish all working men would be equally thoughtful and economical, and that there were fewer of those foolish spendthrifts who waste their substance when they have it, and who, the moment there is a frost, or they are out of employ, become paupers, loafing upon the charity of others. I commend your industry, but, but, but, at the same time, is that all? Were you made only to be a machine for digging holes, laying bricks, or cutting out pieces of wood? Were you created only to stand at a counter and measure or weigh out goods? do you think your God made you for that and that only? Is this the chief end of man—to earn shillings a week, and try to make ends meet therewith? is that all immortal men were made for? As an animal like a dog, nor a machine like a steam engine, can you stand up and look at yourself, and say, “I believe I am perfectly fulfilling my destiny”? I beg this morning to interject that quiet “but,” right into the middle of your busy life, and ask from you space for consideration, a pause for the voice of wisdom, that a hearing may be granted her… Yes, but there is a higher bread to be earned, and there is a higher life to be considered. Hence the Lord puts it, “Labour not for the meat that perisheth,” that is to say, not for that first and foremost; “but for that which endureth unto life eternal.” God hath made man that he may glorify him; and whatever else man accomplishes, if he fail to reach that end, and make eternal shipwreck, unless he comes to sit at Jesus’ feet; there and there only can he learn how to sanctify his business and to consecrate his labour, and so bring forth unto God; through his grace, that which is due to him.

Of those who might misappropriate Mary’s example with frivolity and love of pleasure, he says:

They are not cumbered with much serving; rather, they laugh at those who cumber themselves about anything. They are merry as the birds, their life is as the flight of a butterfly, which lightly floats from flower to flower, according to its own sweet will; with neither comb to make, nor hive to guard. Now, thou gay young man, what doth solomon say to thee? “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth; but”—there comes in a pause, and the cool hand of wisdom is laid upon the hot brow of folly, and the youth is asked to think awhile—”but know thou, that for all these things, God will bring thee into judgement.” It cannot be that an immortal spirit was made of frivolities; a soul immortal spending all her fires on the playthings of the world, “resembles ocean into tempest toss’d, to waft a feather, or to drown a fly.” So great a thing as an immortal soul could not have been made by God with no higher object than to spend itself upon trifles light as air. Oh, pause a while, thou careless, godless one, and hear the voice that saith unto thee, “but.” There is something more than the fool’s hell; and should not life be? The charms of music, the merriment of the gay assembly, the beauties of art, and the delights of banqueting—there must be something more for thee than these; and something more must be required of thee than that thou shouldst waste from morn to night thy precious time upon nothing but to please thyself. 

You can read the whole thing here

Also, some older DSC sermons might be of interest if you want follow-up on a related theme: