“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Everyone needs a break from their labors. In Matthew’s verse, he is telling us that when we need a rest from our responsibilities and worries, Jesus will provide respite. I think he is also acknowledging that we work hard and need rest.
While thinking about this verse in relation to vacation, I was forced to think about how important rest is in my life. How do I intentionally give myself opportunities to break away from the routines of work and chores to take the time to either relax or do something that I love. So often, life just happens and I’m going through the motions without reflecting on what I’m doing.
Vacation means different things to different people. Some folks escape to a lake house, others travel the world to experience new things, some visit family. As defined by Dictionary.com, vacation means “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity usually used for rest, recreation or travel.” Eric and I live by Lake Ontario, and we typically don’t like to go anywhere during the summer because everything we enjoy is right here. So, our challenge has been how to make time to do what we love and not let the summer go by without a vacation, to purposefully disengage with work and those things that need doing around the house. This year, we have both made the commitment to ourselves to not let that happen. Eric is taking off Fridays and I am only working 4 days this summer.
Personally, it has been the most challenging two years of my teaching career. This summer, I knew I needed a true break to find the inner peace that has been missing. Summer schedules are different. The days are longer, the nights are warmer. For me, that means I can find a shady spot on the beach and read or go on a sail with Eric. I can play more tennis outdoors, take a nap, turn off the alarm, check in with my neighbors. We should all take advantage of the different pace – to take a week or a day – even God rested on Sunday.
What do Matthew’s words mean to you? What could you do to carve out time for yourself? I challenge you to take time off and do what you love with someone you love. Put down your burden; let God give you rest.
I wish you peace.