At the beginning of my 11 weeks of summer vacation, I kind of freaked.  Feared I was wasting my time, that the days were slipping through my fingers with little to show for them.  I was surprised by the emotional wallop of this reaction, for I’ve been dealing with seasonal change for over 20 years as a teacher.

I eventually settled into a routine and kind of gave myself permission to just BE. But I still FELT time fleeting fast.   The culprit for this ennuie? –  probably Guilt for having the time off while the rest of the grown-up world works through the summer.

The highlight of my summer was a hiking trip with my husband.  We drove down to the mountains of Western North Carolina earlier this month, stopping off in Winston-Salem to catch up with my cousin and her husband.  While there, Darby gave me a book about the Sabbath. I love to mark up books and have taken to pulling out one or two main points and making note of them via Evernote.

If for nothing else, the book was worth reading for this one thought:  the value of dormancy. Wayne Muller writes, “If certain plant species do not lie dormant for winter, they will not bear fruit in the spring….. A lack of dormancy produces confusion and erosion in the life force.”

Wow!  All of a sudden, I realized that the summer months are valuable just for REST.  And that the best activities are NO activities.  I started thinking how I jeopardize my natural creativity for the future school year when I force activity.  That without that restful period of noodling around the house, I’m just a mechanical teacher.

Muller also writes – “ (like crops) We, too, must have periods when we lie fallow and restore our souls.  Rest is an essential enzyme of life, as necessary as air.  Without rest, we cannot sustain the energy needed to have life.”

Of course, his book argues for the weekly Sabbath – taking a day off to slow down and appreciate nature and the rhythms of life.  He talks about being hard-wired for rest.  And how we cannot wait for our work to be done, for our work is NEVER done.

This idea was just what I needed.  I think I might have missed the significance had I not blundered through those first few weeks of vacation.  Of course, nothing is by accident.  The gift of this book from my cousin followed by a week nurturing our souls in an isolated cabin with my husband in the midst of the Carolina Smokies was therapeutic.  We hiked, slept, ate, read, talked and dreamed again.  You can’t dream if you’re pushing through life.

As you know, I experimented with a Sabbath this past spring. What a surprise to me that I could get enough essential school and house work done to carve out a Sabbath Sunday.  I looked forward to it each week.

This school year, I want to continue that blessed practice and also add 30 minutes to my week-day sleep schedule.  Life doesn’t have to be lived at warp-speed.  War-time urgency is not the rule.  No need to rush, if I believe that God is sovereign over EVERY detail, including the delays.

As Ann Voskamp writes in One Thousand Gifts, if Christians have the gift of life eternal, then we have all the time in the world.  She quotes Evelyn Underhill who labels those who rush and hurry as “amateurs”.

We ought to question the supposed American virtue of being busy.  Author Wayne Muller shocks his readers with this thought:  Apparently the Chinese pictograph for ‘busy’ is composed of 2 characters:  HEART and KILLING

Remember Jesus came so that we would have Life and Life Abundant.  Rest is on the par of other moral commands like refraining from murder, theft, lying and greed.


Is 30:15 –   For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and REST you shall be saved….”, but you were not willing

Is 28:12 –   He who said to them, “Here is REST, give REST to the weary,” and, “Here is REPOSE,” but they would not listen…….vs 13…so they will go and stumble backward.

Hmmm, is the cost of continual busy-ness worth it?