17 July 2011

"If I knew I had to pack tomorrow, I think I'd cry"

"If I knew I had to pack tomorrow, I think I'd cry" - was what I said when I was going to bed last week Saturday (saturday the 9th of July).

It had been a long week, full of seminars and networking and giving my own presentation and being in a new place (and trying to kind of take a vacation in the middle of it!). Thursday evening we were home late, Friday was a meeting with my supervisor and a community barbecue, and Saturday was painting and cleaning.
The week before that hadn't been all that relaxing either: it had started off with a weekend working in the community and then was packed full with preparations for moving and London and putting last minute changes into a re-write of my research proposal.
And the week to come wasn't looking any easier: packing, moving, unpacking, organising and having out-of-town guests during the weekend.

In the midst of all the busy-ness, it seemed hardly sensible to choose not to get more of a head start on packing things. Yet, knowing how much energy the past week(s) had cost me (and Matthijs), and expecting the coming week to be just as challenging, I desperately wanted (and needed) a day to stop and rest. Whether it was sensible seemed irrelevant - I couldn't imagine finding the courage or energy to face the coming week without that break. And if there was a bit more extra packing to do (because I hadn't done it on Sunday), well, I expected that God would help me find the courage and energy for that, too. (And He did - He also thankfully provided a lot of help and encouragement from friends and family!)

The decision not to pack last Sunday was hardly a difficult one for me - in fact, it was the choice most obvious to me. I grew up with the idea that Sunday is a day of rest (and you do your best to keep it that way, irrelevant of how much needs to get done). As I've grown older, I've kept that - and have discovered the blessing of this day of rest: it is a day not only to rejuvenate, but also a day to remember to trust in God. It is a day to stop trying to act as if all my hard work is what will make me succeed - God's grace and his blessing are very much part of things going well.

Psalm 127:1-2
"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves."

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