by Marilyn Ehle

daily online devotionalAre you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.Matthew 11:28-29

The computer is second only to the refrigerator on my Important Machine list. My demands are relatively simple in contrast to those of my husband’s technological requirements—those facilitating communication, finances, record keeping, Power Point© and much more. My needs center around don’t-lose-what-I-write and send-that-email.

Because I was a whiz in that archaic high school class called typing, my fingers fly over the keyboard. My mind whirls with not only the next thought I wish to appear on the screen but also with the paragraphs that lie ahead in my imagination.

More frequently than I like, just in the middle of what I’m sure will become famous words to live by, a number of documents and folders begin flashing across my screen in lightning-like fashion. It seems that everything I’ve ever stored is being reproduced, one atop another. Tech experts tell me this problem is often caused by my expecting too much from the machine in front of me. It is overload. I cannot proceed with the scheduled writing task until I hit the “force quit” button, my computer is turned off, given a rest and then restarted.

Perhaps you felt that during the recent holiday season, both your brain and body were in overload. Although you enjoyed being with family and you even had moments of beautiful worship in your church, there came the time when the tree needed to be undressed of its finery. the pine needles vacuumed, dust removed from the shelves that once held carved creche sets, and the bills paid. It is time to “force quit.”

I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases Jesus’ words: “Come to me…get away with me…walk with me…work with me…watch how I do it…keep company with me…” When thoughts and activities and even people are flashing across my life like lightning, it’s time to take the simple action Jesus prescribes and thus “learn to live freely and lightly.

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