With the election being one week away, COVID cases spiking and what feels like a cyclone of chaos in our midst, let’s talk about how to rest in God.
This is a reminder, which is the point of this podcast, the topic of this podcast, to take a rest, to observe, rest, rest, rest, rest, I was going to talk about something different. But in lieu of the fact that well, I had taken a break, and in lieu of the fact of what’s been happening in 2020, and we’re about a week out from the election, and people are just losing their minds. Just just hit me. This idea of just discussing, rest just hit me. And I felt like I had to get it out of my soul, and just share it with you guys.
But you know, I didn’t really want to say it. But now I’ve already said it. So it’s out there. But yeah, I think somebody needs to hear it. I needed to hear it, if anything, so maybe I’m just saying it for myself. But look, my own personal life is really crazy. I have a full time job. For some of you that some of you already know this. Some of you out there listening already know me, like I have a full time job. And I’m doing this whole UpNorth thing. Next to that. And then I have a wife, lovely, beautiful, awesome wife with five kids and they’re a bit much. There’s a lot going on in the Covin household and my wife, my dear wife, who is a supporting structure, just a massive pillar, my rib, she is diligently homeschooling these kids and taking care of these kids and the home and all this good stuff. And she makes space so I can do what I’m doing right now. So you guys can hear my voice right now. She helps me to to make that happen by giving me space and it is hard. I don’t say that to say, hey, look at my life, I have so much going on. It’s not that at all. In fact, I’m sure many of you guys have very busy lives as well, it just your life will look different than the my life and your form of busy, may look different than my form of busy. But it’s really just to say, Hey, man, we all can become very busy. And we need to find a way to ensure that we are properly resting. And when I say rest, I’m not talking about the Sabbath. Because normally, when we say the word rest, especially in this context, as believers, automatically we think, Oh, yeah, the Sabbath God did this thing in six days. And then there is the seventh day and then you know, then we’d like to fight over what days actually the Sabbath and you know, ruin relationships and friendships over that day, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a different kind of rest with this rest it is really just finding comfort in strength, in God, okay? I’m going to share some things with you that are going to surprise you. Here in America. We we have fallen victim to kind of this Gary Vaynerchuk hustler mentality for some of y’all out there that know Gary Vee, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But we have this hustle mentality. And it is just pervasive in our culture. And it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy at all. And it’s not even just the working. It’s like all of these other things that are taking place right now as well, when you start looking at like COVID. Right? And what’s happening with that, and the election and there’s all of this stuff that’s going on. And I find myself and I found myself over the last few weeks just saying, Yo, I need to make sure I’m resting in God, I need to make sure I’m resting in God, because this society, this culture will have you going 120 miles an hour, just in different directions. And you’ll find that your faith is placed in things that it should not be placed in. So I went out to this website that, oh, let’s see here. The author was GE Miller. And it was out on the 20 somethings finance website. And I wanted to just pull some things for you guys, because I’ve I’ve heard of these stats before. And I was like, I really want to be able to just pull some of these things from different places together to give you guys a clearer picture. Because sometimes when I talk, it’s not clear. This is so much rolling around in my skull. So let’s just talk about being overworked in America. So what I’m gonna do for you guys is I am going to just rattle off a bunch of stats for you. And as I kind of go through this and as we go into the further a little bit deeper into this podcast, you’ll I think you’ll start to see why this idea of rest in the context that I’m talking about is so critically important. All right, so this article that I came across, it basically just tells us that this country our country is the most overworked developed nation in the world. Alright, so let’s just run through some of these. So according to the center for american progress on the Topic of work and family life balance in 1960, only 20% of mothers worked. Today 70% of American children live in households where all adults are employed. So that just helps you kind of get an understanding in terms of like, the stark difference between the 60s and you know, the time that we live in. Something else that’s important. The US is the only country in the Americas without a national paid parental leave benefit. The average is over 12 weeks of paid leave anywhere other than Europe, in over 20 weeks in Europe.
I remember when I used to run an agency. Many years ago, I ran a digital agency and one of our clients, one of my clients was, it was Volvo. And we worked for Volvo Trucks, North America and some of the other smaller global companies Volvo’s a massive company and they’re based out of Sweden. And I remember that I would have conversations with those guys in Volvo. And I learned that they gave their employees so much time off if someone had a baby, right? And I was like, wait a minute. Why are you off for like three months? Just like what is this? Where are you going? It was like, Oh, no that’s just something Volvo does. And I was like, What? And then I remember when the holidays came around like Christmas, man, these cats. You’re doing work for them? It’s October. In October. Yeah, they’ve already checked out. They have clocked out. You don’t hear from anyone in Volvo. And so and this is a Swedish thing. You don’t hear from them until like February. I’m like, Where are you guys going? We have work to do. No, you have work to do. What are you doing? It was like, Nah, this is what we do. We basically just take off the rest of the year like this is insanity.
How can I get in on that? And I just couldn’t, I couldn’t fathom. I didn’t know this was a thing that this existed.
But this is a thing. There are countries that mandate. They mandate that you must take X amount of days to leave X amount of days for parental leave. You have companies that basically just shut down for months over the holidays. And I’m like that is not the United States. But I digress. Let’s keep going. At least 134 countries have laws, setting the maximum length of the work week, but guess what country does not? Yep, ours, the United States. According to the International Labor Organization, Americans work 137 more hours per year than the Japanese too and they work a lot. The Japanese, their work ethic is incredible. They work a lot right in and we’re like, Nah, we’re gonna show you guys how to how to work. We also work 260 more hours per year than the British. And if that’s not surprising to you, guys. 500 more hours per year than the French. Uh huh. The US remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave. Let that sink in. Using data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. However, however, our standard of living like my standard of living your standard of living, it should be four times higher than what it is. But guess what? It’s not. It’s not at all, the standard of living is basically the same. And we are working 400% more in terms of productivity per worker in what was happening in the 50s. There’s also no federal laws requiring paid sick days in the United States. Did you guys know that? There’s no federal law for that. That’s just something companies are like, Oh, well, give me some sick days here. You know, just as an added bonus, there’s no federal law requiring that. None at all. What I want you guys to realize is that the world and specifically this country is pretty much lying to all of us. It wants to convince us that we must work harder, hustle harder, harder. And also, there’s this big lie that our kids need to be pressed even more as it relates to education. So the idea is, is to shove more subjects down their throats and into their minds for rote memorization. That’s happening too. Look. Are there lazy people in this country in the world? Absolutely. Do I think the education system is a joke. Yes, I do. Do I think the answer is to work harder? And more hours? No, no, no, no, I absolutely do not. I think the answer is we need to work smarter, even as it relates to education and our children. I think we need to well work smarter, educate on the right, things, focus on the right things. But this is counter to the idea of rest. Something that as believers were supposed to understand the significance of like, we live in this country, we live in a country, that thumbs its nose up at rest. I mean, I just gave you guys the statistics, this isn’t me making it up that we work like dogs in America. We do. It may not feel like it. But that’s because we live in a very rich country. And it’s really odd, right? It’s like, we have this thing that’s built into all of us. Since you know, many of us live in America. And, you know, born and raised here in America, we take so many things for granted. And it’s weird that we even have this notion of, you know, people being poor or lower class because our lower classes are like the the rich in other places in the world who are living in like mud huts and things right, it’s just it’s mind blowing. So we are always trying to aspire to have more, to reach more loftier goals and to accumulate in mass more, to do more and to hustle more. Welcome to America. But we live in a country that is just antithetical to the very idea of observing rest, which should not really be surprised. This isn’t a theocracy. I’ve said that many times on this podcast, we don’t live in a theocracy. And so God has defined specific things that are healthy. And I get that this isn’t ancient Israel, but there were some really good things, some really smart things that God did you know, thousands of years ago for ancient Israel and rest is a very healthy very good thing and we just we don’t let anything rest we don’t let the land rest. We will kill some Earth, overproduced crops, just to make more money we don’t let anything rest in this country. We got this crazy daylight savings time we mess with that. People are having heart attacks every time we screw up with the time and set the clocks back. Wait, man. Yeah, y’all feel me right?
But now let’s talk about this COVID thing because I was looking at something earlier today. You know, just in case that isn’t enough to give you anxiety. I came across an article on Reuters and you know, the headline, UK study finds evidence of waning antibody immunity to COVID-19 over time. Does that make you feel good? Does that make you feel good? It doesn’t make me feel good. Now I’m not gonna say that I’m living in panic. But when I see stuff like this I’m like this garbage is never gonna end is it? It’s never gonna end. From this article, goes on to say antibodies against the novel Coronavirus, declined rapidly in the British population during the summer. A study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community. Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels and the British population following the first wave of COVID-19 infections in March and April. Their study found that antibody prevalence fell from 6% of the population around the end of June to just 4.4% in September. That raises the prospect of decrease in population immunity ahead of a second wave of infections that has forced local lock downs and restrictions in recent weeks. Although the immunity to the novel coronavirus is a complex and murky area and may be assisted by T cells as well as B cells that can stimulate the quick production of antibodies following re-exposure to the virus. The researcher said the experience of the coronavirus suggested immunity might not be enduring. Ain’t that just grand? Now the Imperials findings, they were released as a pre printed paper and they have not been peer reviewed. You know, the hope is that there will be a vaccine that’s created that will be better than our natural immunity. But yeah, at the moment. It looks like things are not getting any better. Not at all and right now as we’re in the fall, it looks like things are just spiking. Now I do have a hunch, I could be wrong, that I’ve usually been right with these things. I do have a hunch that after the election, a lot of things that we’ve been dealing with, they’re just gonna magically go away. That’s just my hunch. That’s just my hunch, we have to come back to this podcast and go, this dude was right. He’s onto something. But let’s not forget about the upcoming election. Let’s not forget about that. I watched the first debate, and that was all I could watch. I didn’t watch anymore. I um. What was I doing? Not watching the debate. I couldn’t. After that first debate, I was like, yeah, I got all the information I need. I got everything that I need. I’m good squared away, whether it was from the candidates or whether you know, the President and from Biden or whether it was from media, whether it was from social media, I’m good. I got my fill that first night. But a lot of people are fretting in this country over this election.
In fact, so my wife and I, we voted. And my wife was trying to decide if she was going to actually mail hers in or drop hers off at the ballot. And I was like, Well, you know, means just, whatever. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. I don’t know what makes me feel comfortable. Because I read stories about ballot boxes getting destroyed and all this other stuff. All I can tell you is do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Me? I just mailed it. I was like God this is your hands. But my point is, she was like, you know, torn and a lot of people are like that. They’re like, okay, so I have this thing. But how do I make sure it gets there? How do I make sure no one tampers with it? What must I do? How can I minimize our risk to make sure this vote counts? And while I do admire? Well, I do admire that line of thinking, the care, the perseverance, right? It did just make me think like, oh, we’re really fretting over this even as believers. And then I pulled up some article that said something about some box somewhere was trashed. And I’m just like, Yeah, well, there’s that. But the last election, people were falling apart when Donald Trump got elected, they were falling apart. I mean, they were memes a plenty of people that were just in tears. You think that the rapture happened and people recognized that they weren’t a part of it. That’s how bad people were acting. They were just in a state of depression, like the world is going to come to an end, we’re going to be tossed into World War Three, the economy is going to tank, we’re going to end up in another depression, like never seen before. And none of that happened. It didn’t happen. Now, that’s not to say that everything right now is rosy. I mean, who could have foreseen a pandemic? Point is that stuff didn’t happen. But yo people really got worked up. And right now I’m seeing the same type of energy. And then even the media is like, hey, well, we know we got it wrong last time, but we put some checks and balances in place. So this time, we’re not gonna have egg on our face. Because they were embarrassed, the media was embarrassed. They had no idea what was coming. But the reality is, many people are fretting. And I want you guys to ask, what happens if your candidate does not win? What does that do for you? What will you do? What would your disposition towards life be? What does that do to your faith? What does that do? As it relates to your outlook on life? How are you going to respond? Is your hope bottled up in one man? I would say woman but there’s no woman running but the culture, blame the culture, you chauvinist. But is your hope bottled up in one man?
You think because Trump or Biden gets elected, then it’s gonna be utopia, everything’s gonna be fine. Everything’s gonna be better? Think all of your needs are going to be met? Because what? Because Trump or Biden got elected? Like, I pray that none of you think that’s like, that’s the way. None of you think that is the position that a Christian should take. That’s certainly not my position. You know, we can vote and just kind of hope for the best say, Okay, well, we just do our duty, realizing this is not a theocracy. We’re not voting for a king or, you know, a priest or anything like that. This is a pagan land. We need to make sure that we’re aware of that. We have to get off this kick man like this. is ancient Israel and is not it’s a pagan land. And regardless of who is elected, God can still manipulate and use that individual for his own purposes. We have to, we can’t forget that man is not the president. He’s not in charge. He’s not, he can make some decisions, right? I mean, let’s be real, he can make some decisions. And some things can happen. He can legislate some things. But my point is, ultimately, that whoever sits in that Oval Office is not sovereign over the universe. God is. And God doesn’t need to get man’s permission to do anything. He doesn’t need to check in with the Oval Office to say, Hey, you know, there’s some stuff that you’re doing that I don’t really agree with. Can I can I have you just, you know, sign this instead?
God, acquiesce to no one. Man doesn’t have control over us. And we need to rest in that. So that’s my question to you guys. Like Where? Where are you laying your faith? Is it in man? Is it in God, because when we talk about rest, typically, as I was saying earlier, it’s centered around resting in Jesus, because he’s the way to salvation. You know, we can rest from our work because Jesus died, you know, as it relates to earning our way into the kingdom, no more sacrifices and all of this other stuff, which are very good things, I’m very glad we don’t have to do any of that. But that’s not what I’m talking about. In this instance, I’m speaking of rest as in resting in God’s ability, and being able to take comfort that He alone is sovereign.
Psalm 62:8 says trust in him at all times. Oh, people pour out your heart before him. God is a refugee for us. Selah. None of us know what the future is going to bring post election. But if things don’t go your way, are you willing and able to trust God? Are you just gonna kick against the rocks and toss your fist in the air be mad? Give up hope?Have we forgotten God’s hand is not moved by man.
One of my favorite verses in the entire Bible is Psalm 27 says, some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. And when you read that, you should get this visual imprinted into your mind chariots and horses, we could think back to Exodus, right? When the Pharaoh was chasing Israel, trying to get them back. And you just see this picture of power, this army, right, this force, that God just said, Ha, watch this. Boy, watch this, and, yeah, there was a calamity. It was utter calamity.
But many people trust in power, they trust in the armies of men. We trust in the minds of this world, in the mind of our hands. But then there are those that trust in the name of the Lord our God. And that’s the way that we should be, we should be putting our trust in the name of the Lord. It’s not like our God’s no longer sovereign, he is. And in this world, our country specifically is grinding away to create this kind of crazy utopian view by overworking all of us, all of us are being overworked, by destroying the family unit to encourage the pursuit of personal and often selfish ambitions for doing other things like fighting for civil liberties that go well beyond what is natural. Or there’s also this aspect of many just attempting to accumulate more and more and more, gathering up as much as possible into their own storehouse, where they would find security. Yes, I’m talking about the worship of Mammon. And many of us, I think, can find ourselves worrying more about the world’s agendas versus God’s agenda for us as a body, but then also us as individuals. So when I speak of rest, I mean, you know, where’s your comfort? Where is your comfort?
I’m gonna leave you guys with a story. I don’t think I’ve told this story on this show before, but it’s a personal story that I experienced and my wife experience many years ago. For some odd reason, I really think it was God. I can only blame God to this day. I blame God I’m like, God, this was all you I blame you. He did this to me. Many years ago, I was going through this string of unfortunate events where I could not keep a job and it wasn’t anything because of, you know, incompetence or Just showing up late. I know what you saying you saying Yeah, yeah, right. Everybody says that no, no, no straight up. Like, I’ve had some jobs before. I was like, Yeah, I needed to be fired. Yeah, I hated that place. And I sucked at that job. So that ain’t what was happening? All right? This was just one of those weird things in the universe you cannot control and I’m looking at my wife, I’m like, What is the deal? You know, I would work for, you know, a startup and then something would happen with that startup. And then, you know, I’d be let go like, there’d be layoffs at the startup cuz I mean, it’s a startup and startup life is hard. Or I’d work for another company, a bigger company under contract, and then they had to let their contractors go it was just really weird. But I went through this series of events for like, three to six months. and due to that, whatever savings I had was just like, yeah, it was, it was disappearing. And I worked for this, I guess this last company before this all happened and what I’m about to tell you is that, yes, so I worked for them. And it was a startup again, because I love startups. And at the time, my wife was no longer working because we had her third child. And she was like, yeah, it’s better for me just to stay home. Some of y’all get that Right? That whole childcare thing? What a racket. So we’re like, okay, you just stay home, because otherwise all of our money is going to be going to childcare. And it’s better for you just to stay here, keep our money here. And you can just… and she was like, Yes, I, I concur. That’s what I would like to do. So that’s been the position ever since. And at the time, you know, thought things were like, alright, this is cool, it was towards the end of the year, my company that I was working for, decided they were going to have some layoffs right before the holidays, which is when all companies do it. Merry Christmas. That’s pretty much when they all do layoffs is right before the holidays. So I was without a job. And long story short, we had been, you know, just kind of going through some things for a few months. And then when that happened, it really hit hard. Because now I have, you know, this baby, you know, I got two other kids. And then I got you know, my third child. She’s here now. And my wife doesn’t have a job. I was the only one that had a job, I thought everything was gonna be kosher, and I lost my job. And now we have no income. And, I mean, I did file for unemployment. But I mean, we all know how far that goes, especially when we had a family of five at the time. So we got to a place, our mortgage, we couldn’t pay it. And we missed a couple of months. And next thing you know, we went out somewhere, came back. And there was a note on our door. And you want to talk about just like embarrassing to have this bright, sticky note on your door, which was pretty much saying, Yeah, we came and just did a little survey, make sure the house is still here, because we’re going to come get it next month. And it was just like, Man, this is real.
And we had been praying and I had been praying for quite some time through this period. And I got to the point where I just I said, You know what, I’m tired. I’m no longer gonna pray this. I’m not. I know it sounds antithetical right to what we typically hear in church. But I was just at a point where I was like, you know, I’m, I’m exhausted, God knows what it is that I need. He knows what we need. He knows our prayers before we even pray, he has been watching us struggle. He knows our faith, he knows where we’re trying to go in terms of our relationship with Him. And He knows everything that’s going on. He knows those prayers that are really hard for even us to understand. So our spirit has to groan and communicate and intercede. God knows all this. He’s been watching this. And so I just basically said and I looked at my wife and, I was like, so yeah, if we have to end up on the street, I’m fine with that. If we lose the house, and we end up on the street, that’s just what it is. I trust God. He’s gonna figure this out. Something’s gonna happen. If we stay in the home. Great of course. That’s where I’d like to be. If we end up on the street. That’s on God. My wife looked at me. She gave me this look like do what?
But eventually, she came around she was like, Okay, what I mean, what else can we do? I don’t know. But I’m tired. I’m, I’m just gonna trust God. I don’t, I don’t care about this stuff anymore. It’s just stuff. And God will find a way, we’ll find a way he’ll do something. He didn’t bring us to this point in life just to you know, disregard us. And a few weeks after that eye opening moment I got another job. And the job paid really well. And within a couple of months, not only did we kind of square everything away with our mortgage company, we were, you know, we were at a place that we were kind of climbing back out of debt, like we were doing really good. And it was such a breath of fresh air. But the biggest thing out of all of this was that we learned to seek God regardless of our circumstances. And it brought me to a place where I was at the end of myself. Not that I’m perfect at that today. But whenever I find myself fretting over something, I have this thing that just beats on the back of my head that says, hey, make sure you get to the end of yourself. And it reminds me of what God has done. Because oftentimes, we forget the things that God has done in the past, when we’re in present, frustration, or in present trouble. But it also helped me to understand that God was ultimately in control, and he didn’t create any of us, he didn’t create you. Any of us that chase after him just to be left to the devices of this world. He’s not gonna turn his back on any of us that are chasing him. And every single one of us have a purpose and a reason for existing, for being here. God doesn’t do anything by accident. Nothing is done by chance with him. It’s like, Oh, snap. Who is that? When they get here? Okay, I need to make sure their name is in this book or not in this book. It’s not how it works. God is not surprised by any of this stuff. He’s not surprised by any of us. We need to make sure that we’re resting in him, not in the works of our hands, the works of society. In fact, if this world is burning down to the ground, to ashes, and people are without hope, their distraught, they’re tearing each other apart, we should be that firm pillar of strength, of resilience and of hope. Rest.
Romans 8: 26 through 28 says, Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what to pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is in the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose. Rest regardless of what is happening right now, regardless of what is going to happen a week from now. Let’s make sure that we’re resting. That our faith is in God.