musical restsHave you ever played a musical instrument? I took piano lessons when I was in junior high (now that’s telling my age). I enjoyed it but I seemed to have one recurring problem with each piece of music assigned to me.  I would rush the rest. Those of you who know me personally are laughing out loud right about now.

A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music and it is placed strategically throughout any musical composition. A rest can be given an interval of time equivalent to any note value. There is a saying among musicians that goes like this,

It’s not the notes that make the music; it’s the space in between the notes that makes it.” (author unknown)

The pause is critical for the full expression of the composer. When you rush the rest in a musical piece you throw the timing of the entire song out of whack and it doesn’t sound good. The rest is as much a part of the song as the notes you play. When you have several musicians playing together, be it at a school band performance or a rock concert, and one musician rushes the rest, it’s most unpleasant to listen to and ends up frustrating the other musicians. The rest is powerful. It has a purpose.

Composers took their lead from the Creator of heaven and earth by including a rest in their creations. Rest is necessary. If you don’t believe me, try and make it through a full week without sleep. God created us in His image [Genesis 1:26]. And even God, Creator of everything, rested. Genesis 2:2 tells us,

By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.”

God created us to take time to rest, to

Be still and know….” (Psalm 46:10)

He wasn’t just referring to sleeping when He called us to rest, but He called us to slow down, spend time with Him, take our time with people so we can build relationships, and just savor the life He’s given us. So many times, we’re so busy trying to reach a destination in life, we fail to realize the gift is in the journey not the destination. I am preaching to the choir right now, friends. I am so guilty of operating at one speed, wide open.

Recently, the Lord has been teaching me the power of the rest. I’ve pulled back in many ways and tried to develop different speeds for different thing. Everything doesn’t have to be fast forward, full speed ahead. (Somehow I have a feeling I’m going to eat these words when one of you uses them to remind me of them when I’m whizzing by you doing something. If it happens, I’ll thank you…. eventually, because I don’t want to miss what the Lord has for me in the journey.)

Maybe you have a handle on this. If so, please share how you do it with us all.  We could learn from your wisdom and experience. If not, remember Romans 8:1,

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”

We are a work in progress. There’s enough grace for us all.

Take some time today to slow down, smell the …. well the roses aren’t out right now, so smell the coffee. Then sit down and enjoy a cup and ponder on your day. What is God saying to you? Where is He directing you? We need to slow down long enough to know.