I will give you rest.
There was this show on CBS that ran from the mid-50s through 1960, and it was called Father Knows Best. Although it was a little before my time, I saw a few episodes in syndication. I love that there were always lessons and wisdom that this father imparted to his wife and children in a 30-minute snapshot of daily life. Giving such a weighty cross to one man seems unfair, but such is the case in families all across the globe. Fathers and mothers bear the responsibility of training their children in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6) so that they become productive citizens and lifelong learners. This certainly isn’t an easy task, but it’s shared with many: grandparents, godparents, parishioners, neighbors, friends, and teachers. From time to time, parents need a respite from their duties, relying on some of these significant others in their lives to step in or step up. When they return home to their children, they feel refreshed and ready to embrace the next challenge — whether it’s bathing triplets or preparing dinner for a family of five (including your teenage daughter who just announced that she’s now a vegan).
Busy parents aren’t the only ones who need frequent breaks. We all do. In fact, just this past week, educators in my builing seemed to be running on fumes. It’s a stressful time of year due to high stakes testing, multiple deadlines, various meetings, and little to no down time. I was definitely feeling the weight of the work/life balancing act and was in need of immediate rest. Thankfully, God hears the prayers of the faithful, and he answered me with a blizzard.
Disclaimer — I am not taking responsibility for this weather event; however, I confess that I prayed for a day or two off from school. Once I had gotten snacks and ingredients for my first gumbo of the year, I was ready for the three feet of snow we were assured of getting.
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28
Those of us living in the northeast got an unexpected five-day break! Thankfully we didn’t lose power, so I did as everyone else did –surfed the web and hung out on Facebook. It was nice to see my friends’ pics documenting their accounts of the Blizzard of 2016. As children played in the snow, adults made snow cream. I took a little time to play in the snow once it finally stopped–stalling over the nation’s capital for two days, but I spent the bulk of my time resting, reading, trying new recipes, and writing. This was the best break I’ve had all year. Granted, it was my first break of the year, but I think God’s timing was perfect. He forced us to take a break since we don’t always listen to our bodies when they sniffle and ache; instead, we keep pushing until the weekend. With kids’ activities, domestic duties, and church commitments, we rarely ever use our week’s end for the purpose it was truly intended. We run errands all day Saturday and catch up on everything else on Sunday — never taking the time to follow the Father’s example on the Sabbath. Even the Creator (in his infinite wisdom) rested on the seventh day. Why on Earth won’t we follow his example? I’ve learned that health is far more important than wealth. We have choices, and we can’t serve two masters. If I need time off, I take it. If I don’t need time off, I go to work. I have options, and so do you. Take a little time each week to just be. You don’t have to be doing anything –just be.
For all my friends celebrating Mardi Gras, I won’t make it home this year, but do me a solid. Laissez le bontemps rouler, cher!
Though I purpose to give myself weekends “off”, they’re rarely quiet or restful. I suspect we are prisoners of our mortality feeling the press of time upon us. Oui mon cher. Tu as raison!