In the relief effort for the people in Ecuador affected by the earthquake, I had some funding and we were able to purchase some very much needed goods. One of these were mattresses, which are in deman in rural poor areas. So, a friend and I visited a famous mattress maker here in Quito to make a big purchase. As we were on our way out the door, my friend laughed. On a sign next to the door was the company mission and vision statement. It’s mission was to be the leader in the “Industry of rest.” I didn’t know that was an industry, she said, and we laughed. I liked it.
We came again a second time to pick up some more mattresses for another trip. I saw the sign again. One of the saleswomen was accompanying us out the door and I said to her, “Do you like working in the industry of rest? Because I think a lot of people need it and it’s underrated.” She said, “I do. Rest is very important. It’s very satisfying giving people rest.”
So, when we arrived at one of the communities in the affected area, we were shown a tiny bamboo house where 2 families and 11 people lived. On the floor were two mattresses. “The kids sleep on the floor.” We gave the families a mattress. It’s the first time that the kids will have ever slept on a mattress. On the way out, there wasn’t so much I could say, so I said, “I hope you sleep well.” That is to say, “you are with God now.”
Here’s a question: who in your life actually gives you rest? Your boss doesn’t. Your kids? The news? Rest is a rare commodity. You can’t just get it anywhere. That is why when someone dies, we say, “rest in peace.” Because that is about the only time you ever truly will get rest. When you are with God. That’s what it really means to say, “rest in peace”: you are with God now.
Sometimes people make Jesus out to be someone who puts a lot of rules and expectations on us. There is a good life to be lived, a moral code to live up to things like that. They put a weight on top of people. But Jesus comes to take the weight off. When Jesus invites us to follow him, it’s because he wants to give us something that’s practically impossible to get in this life. He happens to be the leader of the industry of rest.
So, when Jesus comes, you can sleep well.
You are with God now.
“Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)