The first family road trip that I remember taking happened when I was eleven years old. From our home on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, we travelled all the way to the Okanagan. Now an easy trip of eight or nine hours, it took us several days, as my dad took his time driving our little Morris Minor up the Fraser Canyon, stopping to see the sights and having a swim in the lakes and icy rivers that we encountered on our way.
My dad liked adventure, and he was so happy to have a holiday, with its change of scenery, and to be away from the daily pressures of his office bookkeeping job. What a great feeling to be free, at least for a few days! After the hours of packing the day before, my dad breathed a contented sigh, having made sure that everything that we would need for a family of four was efficiently packed into the car, lovingly named “Yellow Rose”. Early one summer morning, we were on our way, chugging up the mountain highway out of town. Suddenly, slapping the steering wheel for emphasis, he called out dramatically in his unique turn of phrase, “This is the holidays!” We caught his enthusiasm and cheered excitedly. Our summer road trip had begun.
Our family trip was definitely a pause in our daily lives, just like the word used in some of the psalms — the Hebrew word Selah. It was meant to indicate an interlude, a pause for voices, or a note to change the way musical instruments were played, or to highlight a shift of mood. The Amplified Bible gives it an additional meaning: “Pause, and calmly think of that.”
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9 NKJV)
How necessary it is to pause in our daily lives! Life seems to consist of going from one commitment to another, not to mention making meals and keeping the house in some semblance of order. Being retired, my husband and I don’t leave home every day to go to work, but we still need to pause. How easy it is to build up to periods of frenetic activity and not take time to rest and reflect. Just as the people of Israel were invited to enter the Promised Land as an end to their struggles and slavery, we are told of a rest available to us as believers. That rest is in Jesus, Who “makes me to lie down in green pastures” and Who “restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2,3 NKJV). We can rest there, like sheep do, free from interruptions and annoyances, renewing ourselves in peace.
Let’s take up the offer of rest that the Good Shepherd promises us. Pray with me in the words of the hymn writer John Greenleaf Whittier:
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,By John Greenleaf
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Alice Burnett <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission