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Rest Then Work

We have one more week left of the break between 2nd and 3rd term. Our 160 students are spending the time with their families. Our teachers are at the University in Kigali. Life is certainly different when school isn’t in session.

I am reminded of something that I heard years ago. We should work from our rest not rest from our work. There is a natural rhythm to life and part of that rhythm is having breaks or rests. If you look in the Bible there are examples everywhere. God rested on the 7th day in Genesis chapter 2 verse 2. Jesus took rests from his public ministry and went to the mountain to pray Luke 6:12.

If we look at Jesus life it is a great example of balance of resting and recharging and then “working”. He knew when he needed his inner circle of Peter, James and John around him. He knew when he needed to be alone with his Father in the Garden to agonize over his impending death.

It has always been a tough lesson for me to learn. How do I keep a health balance of rest and work. For me resting can mean different things. Usually an early morning jog (strange to call that rest) and Bible reading/prayer can recharge my batteries and clear my head for the day. Going to corporate worship on Sundays creates a weekly rhythm in my life. I find it difficult some days to separate work and rest. Work is always here and there is always something to do.

But as I look at Jesus’ life I can learn the importance of rest and work. If the Son of God thought it important to do something, I think I will take heed.

As I am writing this I see my neighbor Samuel out in the field hoeing beans. Every day Samuel and his wife have a similar rhythm to their lives. But on Sundays they attend a local worship service and reserve the entire day to family. Samuel knows that resting from his work one a week is healthy. Many of our neighbors are Christian. Rwanda boasts a high percentage of those who follow Jesus. We learned early on that planning things on days that our neighbors worship (especially Saturdays) was futile because many worship and have family time on Saturday.

I have learned so much about faith from our neighbors. God continues to teach me what is most important. He shows me a rhythm of life that will help me experience the most joy and purpose possible. It is up to me to carve out time and margin in my life so I can be in sync with God’s Spirit.

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