Come apart and rest a while

The Protestant work ethic has combined with the Internet and roaming devices like the iPad to fill our lives with work. I no longer have to work from 9 till 5! I can start at 4.00am,  and I can work till midnight. I can be at home, shopping, on holiday, with the grand-kids and I can log into my College network and do some work. One of my tasks is to administer Moodle – the College’s on-line learning system. I was out in the bush photographing ospreys when I received a phone call asking for help. “Just a minute`,” I replied, logged into Moodle on my iPad and fixed the problem on the spot. (“Why did you have an iPad with you?” I hear you ask. It has all my bird photographs and notes on it.)

Sabbath is often no different. We are no longer a three hymns, a prayer, an offering and a 40 minute sermon church. We have to have serious multimedia. We have not used a hymnbook for about 20 years in our church – and songs are displayed carefully illustrated. Sermons are no longer complete unless they have a videoclip rather than the simple illustrative story. This is all very engaging, but it does take time and effort and, for the creative types among us, it often means that our work continues into the Sabbath hours. Some of us even extend our Sabbath/work activities by helping to run Sabbath School Net email lists during the week as well as our work responsibilities!

Jesus said, “Come apart and rest awhile!” For some of us those words should be considered a command! Our lifestyle – even well intended – is often causing us stress and we do need to take time to ensure that we can unwind. Stress in one of the most serious problems many of us face. And the time has come to take some serious steps to manage it.

PS If you really want to see what I do to relax have a look at Bird photography is one of the best ways of relaxing that I know. You have to run by the bird timetable, not your own!

Posted in Feature, Growing in Christ - Fundamental Belief 11, Practical living Tagged , , permalink

About Maurice Ashton

Maurice Ashton is a retired lecturer who lives in Australia. He taught Science and Mathematics at high school level before taking a research interest in Computer Science. He lectured at Avondale College for nearly 30 years before retiring in 2012. He is married to Carmel and they have two adult children and two grand children. Currently Maurice is pursuing a keen interest in bird photography and spends much of his time sitting in swamps observing and photographing birds. He has been involved with Sabbath School Net since about 1997.


Come apart and rest a while — 11 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for such wonderful work which magnifies the Lord. Indeed I felt rested from stress when I went through the wonderful photos as I relaxed in nature`s beauty. Nature`s beauty testifies the glory of our God and I felt it as I went through some of these beautiful pictures which testify the glory and work of our almighty Lord. Indeed he is owesome and as beleivers we need to rest on his assurred promises.

  2. Very nice pics, I wish I could find that type of nature here in Va beach..God bless your passion to photograph his handiwork

  3. I have wondered about the multimedia with church.... If you don't have it the younger generations believe you are "not intelligent"... but it takes time. I have wondered if it is necessary. I spend hours making multimedia for songs, stories, illustrations. etc. My life runs that fast as a teacher also. Is multi media essential to spreading the gospel? or is it just the fact of being in touch with the lives of those around us? 11 days in Panama on a service learning trip was heavenly technology free... it was fun to be able to be present with the relationships immediately around me. It was hard to come back.

    • I think today's generation of young people are different than the older generation. They have exposure to multimedia in school and in various other settings. If the church want to reach the young people, they have to resort to modern technology, (at least initially). Of course the church have the option of recruiting some of the high schoolers to assist with the multimedia to make them feel even more connected and a contributor to the service.

  4. I like what u stated by STRESS. some today think their no such thing as Stress in the life of a Christian or you are not trusting and letting God lead if u have stress. . Time and pressure of everyday life adds up and yes we need time to unwind. thanks

  5. Those who have the temerity to suggest that if there is stress in the life of a christian, you are not trusting and letting God lead you, should read about Christ's experience in the Garden of Gethsemane. Now that was stressful to be sure.

    Sure, the godly ideal is to not have stress and worry in your life, but in this modern age the ideal sometimes is crashed head on with the reality of life this side of the Fall. In this busy age of rush rush, a station break with a breather to regroup and revitalize is a must. Find a quiet place to get away from everything, and then read the chapter "Come Rest Awhile" in the Desire of Ages.

  6. Thank you to all those who took the time to look at my bird photographs on flikr. Hopefully I will have some more to put up soon as I am about to visit Kakadu in Northern Australia for two weeks, one of the great waterbird destinations in Australia. Hopefully the birds will be there waiting to be photographed. Unfortunately the area is also the home of thousands of crocodiles with attitude; so I have been given strict instructions to keep well away from the water's edge by Carmel. She has the opinion that I am more valuable than bird photographs. And no - the crocodile threat does not stress me!

    Regarding the use of multimedia in church; I would like to make two points:

    (1) most of us respond far more to visual that auditory input.

    (2) many people like the opportunity to contribute something creative to worship. Creative well-designed multimedia is just one way that worshipers can contribute.

  7. Thank you for the inspirational chat about your busy life, and bird-watching. I have copied it and expanded on the subject, and will use as my talk at Sabbath School on the first week in July as I lead out.
    I will conclude with the prayer - Lord, we come to you, asking that You will touch our daily lives with a moment here and a moment there, of peace, of calm, of beauty, of rest. Make us more aware of Your presence we ask – and we thank You for Your unconditional invitation to come apart, and rest awhile. Just now, with heads bowed, we’d like to send our acceptance to You. In Jesus’ name.

  8. We need to come apart and rest awhile....we can find ourselves spending a lot time doing good both on the sabbaths and other days in the week.....and our time are spent in that months in and months out and our spiritual life can be going down the drain....the enemy is very clever let us ask God to guide us in everything we do. So we can spend some real quality time in God for real.

  9. That is so true - I need to learn to relax. I haven't relaxed in such a long time that I don't remember how to.

  10. Its amazing. I live in this remote part of kisii, kenya,africa. Am glad that u got passion in God's nature. I also like the work, infact here there are lots of birds. About the multimedia, i wld like to have it at our church, but practicaly i have never seen it here in our area. Maybe in nairobi. I hope one day we wil achieve that too. My email is [deleted to protect writer from spam. You may write to us under the "Contact" page].


Please leave a comment long enough to say something significant and considerably shorter than the original post. First and last name required.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *