I don’t know about you…. but teaching is a crazy profession which involves many, many, many, many, many, many (you get the point) hours outside of the 8.45-3.20 classroom time!
I find each day super busy and I’ve discovered that I simply don’t rest. Are you like me?
I’ve been wrestling with this notion of rest for the past few days. For those of you who don’t know me outside of the Twitterverse (@DrShaileighPage) or outside of these written musing on my blog, you need to know that……. I’m a Christian. This world view shapes every part of me and it is the lens through which I view every circumstance. So, this post about rest will be from this perspective. Don’t tune out though… keep reading, stay with me……
God says a lot about rest, right? It begins in Genesis (the first book of the Bible) where God creates this very universe in six days and He rested on the seventh. God clearly states in the old testament that we need to rest and this idea is found within the 10 commandments. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with them……here they are:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
In the new testament, God simplifies these commandments into two: Love God and Love Others and we see Jesus, throughout these pages taking time out of his ridiculously busy schedule, showing God’s character to the world, in order to rest.
As teachers, and I think this applies to most professions, we are busy, busy people! Right? There are many demands on us and expectations of us… every moment of the day it seems!! Some of us also have kids, husbands, dinners to make, friendships to maintain and healthy life styles to keep up. We have a lot going on… constantly! I am all too aware of the unending tasks I have to complete each day, each week, each term and….. I am equally aware of the time constraints we have. Have you ever found yourself saying “I wish there were more hours in a day?”
It might be scary to know that God gives us 168 hours a week. Yup…. 168 hours is all we have! I am currently reading the Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. Check out her Time Assessment Tool here. God gives us limited time and he trusts us to be good stewards of that time and to honour and glorify him in all we say and do! So… given the fact we have limited time and unlimited tasks and jobs to complete…. how can God ask us to possibly rest? Is God serious about this commandment and about this notion? Is it an optional extra?
For many years I have justified working everyday… yes including Sundays! I know! Some of you are totally disgusted, right? My first priority was getting EVERYTHING done and done well! I wanted to be organised and always felt like all the hard work I put in was never enough! Perhaps this thinking is a good thing….. maybe this very striving is what makes me keep growing and learning… I don’t know… maybe not….anyway! I felt like nothing was ever good enough. So, I would work late into each evening, I would awake early to keep working, I would work every Saturday AND…. Yes I would often work Sundays too! I refused to rest while I still had work to do. And I always had work to do, so I wouldn’t really rest.
This week at school, as part of our daily staff devotion time, we watched a clip from a pastor about keeping the Sabbath. Here is a resource from this video we viewed. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that immediately, my attitude wasn’t so good towards this teaching and I found myself getting distracted by the weird items placed on the set… like the old fashioned camera, the old globe and weirdly placed lamp near the presenters head etc….. but as the video continued I began to wrestle internally with this notion of resting.
I began considering the other 9 commandments… we don’t see adultery, murder or stealing as optional extras to this whole Christian thing, but somehow in my mind, I have decided that resting and observing the “Sabbath” is a take it or leave it deal. Hmmm…. I’m beginning to think that God placed it in that list for a reason! Maybe it’s actually for our own good?
As the video unfolded and as the random items on the set of this video continued to really annoy me…..I found myself reflecting on the fact that so much research today highlights the need for rest in order for our brains to function optimally and for us to function effectively both emotionally and physically. So, if the “worldly” perspective recommends resting and if God, who created me, says resting is important… I guess I need to do it, hey?
So, here I am sitting in my rather hot house with the cool change slowly liberating me from the stifling heat of the day. Here I am pondering rest. The need for rest. The logistics of rest. The “how” of rest. And the long, unending list of things I need to do. I find myself stuck in this frustrating dichotomy of needs!
After all these thoughts began bombarding my mind over the past few days….. I made a decision. Yup, little, indecisive me made a decision!
I decided to rest.
Today, I purposefully set aside time to just rest. Yup… that’s right, a whole day. I watched a few movies, read a book, wasted a chunk of time on Facebook and I took time out to pray and read the Bible. it was an awesome day! I feel recharged, reenergised and relaxed!!
I’ll be honest, I’m very much still wrestling with the logistics of how we set aside a whole day each week… but I think that resting is something so crucial that we need to consider! I think we need to listen to the Ancient teaching of God’s word and rest, let’s do what God says and see what He will do in response to our obedience.
What’s your take on the whole resting thing? Do you rest? How do you find time out to rest and chill in amongst a very demanding schedule? What do you do to rest?
I look forward to your comments as we wRESTle together on the topic of rest!