“God Blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested after all his work of creating.”
~ Gen 2:3
As I take my 1-year sabbatical after 8yrs of seminary life, today’s reading reminds me what this 1 year is really for — to REST. The word ‘sabbatical’ even comes from the word ‘sabbath’, which is the Jewish day of rest.
In our fast-paced pragmatic world where ‘time is money’ and ‘there’s no time to waste’, resting can seem like such a ‘useless’ activity or a ‘waste of time’. People who take a gap year from study or leave their jobs to have some time for themselves can be seen as irresponsible or lazy.
Yet our reading reminds us that God made rest HOLY. It’s even in the 10 commandments for us to REST at least once a week. And this rest isn’t so much a mindless time of inactivity, but rather a precious time to sit back and admire the beauty that God has created in the past 6 days.
After all that God has been creating in me in the last 8 yrs of seminary life, and in the last 37 yrs of my life, I believe God is inviting me to truly REST, to take a much needed and much deserved break from all the work I’ve been doing, and simply sit back, relax, and admire the beauty that He has been creating in me so far.
If not for this precious time of REST, I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate the true gift that I am, and the true value within me apart from the work that I do and the title that I wear. It is in this precious time that I can better discover my true passion and motivations in life, my true gifts and talents, and my true purpose and personal vocation.
I’ve also come to see that just as keeping the Lord’s day Holy is meant to help us begin the new week with a renewed and refreshed understanding and appreciation of who we are, so too is this season meant to better prepare me for the new chapter that God is unfolding in my life.
So let’s not be afraid to take whatever time of REST is needed in our lives, whether it be a prolonged period of sabbatical, a weekly day of rest, or even a few minutes a day, so that we don’t allow our DOING to define who we are, but allow our BEING our true self determine what we do with our lives.