Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sabbath and rest

How do you rest? What is your understanding of a time of rest?

A friend and colleague of mine, Schalk Pienaar said something the other day which made me think about the way I rest. Schalk told us that our times of rest should not be there as the time to collapse after we exhausted ourselves by over-committing. Times of rest should be used as moments where we get ready for work that lies ahead.

Think about this for a bit. It impacts on the way we see work, the way in which we commit ourselves to opportunities. If we simply commit, we will work, not being able to wait for that moment were we can simply space-out. This kind of rest is seldom effective. If we use times of rest to gain strength, prepare our spirits and our minds, then work becomes the blessing in which we pace ourselves, and could actually find ourselves being fulfilled by that which keeps us busy.

This past year, 2009, is the first year that I did not write any exams. Usually December is a time to collapse. This year I collapsed for a day or two, but then started to take care of myself and my family. While doing this, I actively spent time getting my spirit and mind in gear for the year which lies ahead. no, I did not plan the year nor did I do anything that can be classified as work. I simply prayed, surrendering things to God. It has been a time of saying: "Lord,..... is yours. I trust that you will let me know how to manage it". I did this with all kinds of things: my health, my family, my work relationships, projects that I know I will have to face". and each time a simple message returned. It said "Take each day as it comes. Do what you can, but don't panic if you do not finish what you set out to do. There may be a next day."

I moved my day-off to a Friday now and hope that this will not be a day of collapse, as Mondays always turned out to be, but rather times of refreshing and renewal.
I enter 2010 feeling ready, rested and relaxed. I pray that this will be the year of good news.


Calvary Methodist Church said...

At one of our staff meetings, Sva Waqu reminded us that we do not take a "day off" or a Sabbath because there is no work to do, but because we choose to stop working. It's an inisghtful comment.

Anonymous said...

Hey Boet,
How about just wasting time, just playfully seeing what comes, looking neither forwards nor backwards. Deliberately non-working, non-work thinking, not preparing for anything, just being in the moment for as much of a day as we can as often in a regular pattern as we can. Trying to "sabbath" too much in the light of the week past or the week to come is counter to the only moment we can be present in, and the God of surprises who is only to be experienced in that moment.
We are so "responsible" and this is so counter-intuitive that it takes much concerted regular practise!!!
Love to you and yours.