It is hard to believe but we are closing in on the end of another school year. All I have left are final exams. This is my thirty-second year teaching. I always thought I would retire after thirty, but I am planning to go back in the fall. I still love teaching and until the Big Boss upstairs tells me differently, I will continue on.
While I love my job, I am ready to send my students home for the summer. It’s time; many of the students have already checked out. It’s hard to keep them motivated when my own motivation is waning. I am ready to curl up with a good book and go on an adventure.
Before all that happens, there are still the exams and all the end-of-the-year stuff that has to get done. Teachers are working extra hard to try and prepare students for their exams, but it is always up to the students to give their best. I am still chasing students to get them to turn in some assignments so I can figure the final grade. Will that last day ever get here?
When the final day does get here, I am not sure who is happier, the students or the teachers. When the final bus pulls away from school and the halls are finally quiet, I believe you can actually hear the collective sigh of every teacher. We still have clean-up and paperwork before we too can exit school for a much needed rest.
In our fast-paced, always connected society I think we have lost the art of resting. People don’t sit out on the porch much anymore. Very few people take an evening stroll. It seems that people of all ages are always looking at their phone. They are looking for the latest text or social media update. Most people can’t go an hour without checking their phone.
Resting our mind and disconnecting are so important for our mental well-being. We need time to think and opportunities for our spirits to connect with our Father in Heaven. When we stay engaged it is hard to spend time listening to our Father. The noise of everyday life can keep us distracted and unable to focus our attention on God. When we rest we allow our spirit, soul, and body to rejuvenate.
We all lead busy lives. We work hard and then when the weekend arrives we pack it full of stuff that has to get done. We have laundry, grass cutting, and various other household chores. Then we have to run everywhere, especially if we have kids. There is always a game or a practice. We swallow our food whole and rush off to the next thing on our to-do list.
When the weekend ends, we can sometimes be more exhausted than we were on Friday night. The weekend was so action-packed that we forgot to rest. My wife and I try to slow down starting with dinner on Friday night and getting some extra rest over the weekend. I am not suggesting we have it figured out, we still stay busy every weekend.
The Bible tells us that we are to work six days and rest on the seventh. That’s difficult, but I think God was trying to tell us something very important. First, God wants to connect with our spirits. He wants to renew us and refresh us. He wants to gather together as the family of God. We need a special time to focus on Him.
Second, our bodies really do need some down time. Everyone does down time differently. My little sister goes for a run. I prefer some quiet moments on the front porch. Many enjoy taking in a movie or reading a book.
I think a nap can be a real blessing too.
Third, we need the opportunity to connect with family. After a crazy work week, we need to spend some quality time with the people who mean the most to us. Resting our bodies and enjoying each other can give us the strength to go back and do it again for another week.
I want to encourage you to disconnect from the world and to re-connect with your Father in Heaven. Our bodies need rest and our spirits need to connect with God. I believe God wants to connect with us every day. He wants to renew us so we can take His light and love to the world around us. Our lights can’t shine brightly if we allow the world drag us down. So rest in your Father’s arms and allow Him to refresh you.