America has amusement parks, resort hotels, beaches, golf courses, casinos, movie theaters, spas, health clubs and nightclubs dotting every major city and countryside.
It seems that all America is engaged in some sort of play or partying at any given moment and most of us think of rest as just ceasing our work activities and doing nothing.
So isn't it interesting that a free nation so full of leisure and opportunities to play, isn't really at rest?
We go to shopping malls, art galleries, football games, and spend hours engaged in pleasurable activities, yet even though we appear to be at rest on the surface, inside our spirits are like caged lions - pacing to and fro - never content, full of anxiety and distrust, grief, and guilt. No matter how much fun we are able to have, somehow rest, and peace still escape us.
This is because the rest we need most of all is more than just physical rest for our bodies. In Matthew 11:28,29 Jesus called "all who are weary and burdened" to come to Him. He promised to give us rest. He invited us all to follow Him and learn from Him - and promised that in doing this we will find rest for our souls.
Physical rest and enjoyment is very important - but what good are they if while we lie in our beds 'resting' at night, we are in emotional turmoil and cannot enjoy living?
The relief our bodies get from physical rest, and the pleasure our minds get from enjoyment are short term benefits. But the rest that Jesus gives the human mind and spirit is permanent - and freely available to all who desire it.