Last night, RJ and I had the wonderful treat of visiting the San Marcos Summer Training Program. We got to catch up with some of our students, my bro, and staff, meet new faces, and sit through one of their large group nights. Oh wait, and did I forget to mention partake in like four games of Werewolf??? (Think Mafia, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Werewolf. It was totally the game of summer 2009).
Anyways, Tim Chou led a discussion on rest, which I TOTALLY needed! As per my last post, last quarter was THE hardest, THE most trying quarter for me, academically, emotionally, and physically. Now RJ totally called me out as a hypocrite, since I am usually on him, other staff, and students for not resting enough (I am referred to as the “Rest Nazi” in my little Nav circle), but I definitely did not take adequate time to rest for myself at ALL last quarter. And I definitely felt it.
One of the passages we read came from Genesis 2, when God takes a Sabbath day and declared it holy after creating the world and everything in it. One of the students wondered out loud whether He did that for Himself, or if He did that for the rest of us, to have an example of what it looks like to rest and the necessity of rest. I am still wondering about that today! I mean, it is not as though God is weak, in that He has infinite strength and power. But it means a lot to me that God, the One who makes the world run and keeps everything in harmony, even God took a day off to admire the beauty of His creation. Who am I to think the world will not keep running if I take time to rest? And how much beauty have I missed out on and failed to appreciate because I have not taken the time to slow down and look for it?
The second passage we read was Psalm 127:1-2, which says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
Verse 2 particularly stands out to me, probably because I love descriptive phrases. They just help me understand biblical concepts better. =) But how many times have I sacrificed sleep this quarter, staying up late and waking up early just to get things done? How many days have I eaten the bread of anxious toil, allowing myself to be sustained by worry? Yuckers! That is no way to live! I just imagine that the bread of anxious toil is like an extra sour sourdough, except totally not delicious and making you feel completely sick afterwards. But that is what I have been doing! I have been rejecting the pure and wholesome rest God offers and choosing to sustain myself with worry, choosing to labor in vain. How would this quarter have looked differently if I had trusted God, if I had taken Him at His word that rest is a gift rather than a hindrance from getting things done? I probably would have been a LOT happier, a LOT more positive, better able to bless others, able to see the beauty around me, etc.
I am totally finding in my week off that I don’t know how to rest, like I have forgotten how to! I am already working on assignments for some of my summer classes, stuffing my face with this bread of anxious toil. STOPPPP, Alice!! I mean, luckily it hasn’t been a complete bust. Here are some things I HAVE done to rest thus far:
1. Massage/facial. Thank you, Groupon!
2. Conquered New Super Mario Brothers for Wii with RJ…along with the secret world!
3. Binging on Netflix and Lost
4. X-Men First Class date with RJ!
5. Visited the kiddos at STP and got my Werewolf on.
6. Started working with my guy, Shaun T and Insanity again! Hopefully I’ll get rid of some of the grad school hips. =P
It’s kind of a bummer that I’m thinking about these things AFTER the quarter from hell is over, but luckily, I still have summer session and three more quarters to test out God’s theory on rest. I will update you and let you know if He’s right! =)