Rest along the Road

What’s the purpose of your life?

The thing that’s bigger than yourself–your mission, dream, calling, purpose, the something that you alone feel uniquely designed to do.

Maybe it’s writing a book (harrumph). Maybe it’s spiritual growth. Maybe it’s investing in a relationship. Maybe it’s leading a ministry. Maybe it’s raising a child (or a few). Maybe it’s spending a year backpacking across the country, like my friend David. Maybe you don’t have a clue, but you’re seeking it. Something you were born to do. Something you believe in, that gives you purpose, that makes you feel alive.

Purpose is a great thing. Without it, we constantly ask ourselves, “What am I here for?”

But journeys of purpose are big. And big journeys take time. Lots of time.

As time passes, energy drains away. We lose sight of the distant, big-picture goal because our myopic vision gets crowded with small failures, hiccups, hardships, naysayers…and tiredness. Just plain road-weariness.

Photo credit: Chaz Harding

I read this story about the Biblical prophet Elijah today. Talk about someone with a big life purpose. But at one point he said to God, “I have had enough, Lord” (1 Kings 19).

Had. Enough. 

Photo credit: Soon

The long road of pursuing purpose can leave us feeling burned out like fire-gutted stumps. Elijah was so fed up with chasing purpose and feeling like a failure that he wanted to die.

God’s advice, delivered by angelic messenger?

“Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”

God even sent Elijah an ancient Hebrew Happy Meal to get him started.

Photo credit: Stefan

Before God urged Elijah forward in his journey of purpose, the prophet’s immediate needs had to have some attention. He ate some food. Took two long naps. Went away to Mount Horeb for some refreshing alone time. Spent time in the presence of God. Found a helper.

And THEN he was able to go back to full time prophet-ness. Proclaimed God’s words to difficult people. Did miracles. Made history.

There’s a lot on my plate right now, especially as I look to move forward with my writing career. Maybe there’s a lot on your plate, too. But Elijah’s story encourages me.

The strength to carry on, to continue down that long and worthwhile road, may be closer than you think:

Eat food. Get sleep. Take some time away to refresh. Be in the presence of God. Get a helper.

Or, in the sweet and simple words of my friend and fellow blogger Anna Taylor: Peace, darling.

Purpose is a long road. So pace yourself. Rest along the way. You’ll make it in time.

How do you find rest along the way of purpose? 

4 thoughts on “Rest along the Road

  1. Well this is a timely post for me, lol. Now that Dreamwalker is almost finished, I’ve been itching to start the next book, to just keep going and make the most use of every day, even though I just started working 36 hours a week. How do I find rest? Usually not until a flu virus knocks me down, which is what happened this week. I’ve been so angry because I hate feeling like I’m losing time to work on my purpose. I don’t want to get “behind schedule.” But there’s nothing I can do about it, and if I push while sick, I won’t get better. So these past few days I’ve been resting. But it is difficult to bear taking a break from a soul-nourishing purpose, even if it is needed.


    1. True that! I’ve also experienced the flip side: where purpose stops feeling purposeful when you’re just too TIRED to like it anymore 🙂 Either way, rest (forced or chosen) works out to more purpose in the long run…


  2. In a mind scattering culture, I aspire for “the courage to will one thing”, as your old friend Kierkegaard said. I have been reminded (again!!) that for me that one thing is to “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and with all your heart.” Just replace “your” with “my” and there I find purpose AND rest…Oh, I love the “Hebrew happy meal”! How about Bible action figures?? 🙂


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