Not long ago, I found myself on a 12-hour international flight after doing ministry with some youth leaders who met together in Turkey. I’m a bit of a “tight wad” so I refuse to pay for “business class upgrades,” even on long flights. But thanks to lots of mileage points, I received the upgrade without cost. So I stretched out comfortably in my amazing assigned location, complete with 5 different settings to make sure my seat was as comfortable as possible. I pulled out my iPad and began work. After all, I’d been out of the country for several days. “I’m way behind,” I thought to myself.

Fast forward to “hour 11” of my 12-hour flight. The plane cabin had been dark for several hours. The guy across the aisle from me made me inwardly laugh with his strange snoring pattern. But I kept working – determined to use the hours on the plane to “catch up.”

Then a thought came pounding into my consciousness. Though I’m slow to call all fly thoughts “from Jesus,” the clear and “loud” nature of these particular five words pointed pretty clearly to the divine.

Jeanne_9“Are you tired enough yet?” the internal voice asked me. And almost immediately, I knew what Jesus was trying to say. “Jeanne, what are you trying to prove? Are you exhausted enough now to finally think you have ‘earned the right’ to turn off your iPad and get some sleep?”

Years ago when I was visiting Israel, I accidentally got into the wrong elevator at our hotel. Though I didn’t realize it, we had walked into the “Shabbat elevator.” (In the Jewish tradition, “Shabbat” is the term for the Sabbath.) So in the Shabbat elevator, I found myself stopping at every floor! The Orthodox Jews in Israel take the Sabbath so seriously that you are not even allowed to “work by pushing buttons!”

Granted, this approach still seems a bit extreme to me. But that day on the elevator, just like during my lengthy plane trip, I think the Lord was trying to say to me:

“Jeanne, stop living at such a break-neck pace! Stop trying to push all the buttons that control your life. Slow down…slow down…slow down.”

Matthew 11:28 lovingly whispers this truth to me another way: “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” How about you, my friend? Maybe reading this wasn’t a coincidence for you today. Maybe the Lord is lovingly saying to you, like He did me, “Slow down…slow down…slow down.”