Our theme for this month: “Take care of your body”
Our Bible verse for today: “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to the Lord. Do not grieve, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Give yourself time to relax and decompress.”
A few months ago a group of us from our church spent a week in the Amazon Jungle at the El Arca children’s home. El Arca is a 110 acre ranch on the edge of the Rainforest in the southern Amazon basin in Peru. My friends Bud and Laura Lenz have been caring for children in Peru for twenty years.
El Arca provides a loving Christian home environment for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children (www.elarcafam.org). It is a great place, but life is hard at El Arca. Everyone is up before dawn Monday – Friday. Each person has chores to do and works for about an hour before breakfast is served. Then the children are off to school while the adults go to work in the hot tropical sun caring for crops, fixing fences, working on construction and repair projects, or a host of other jobs. At the end of the day there are more chores and homework. Then it is time for dinner followed by a little family time, and then bed. It is a long, hard work week for everyone.
Saturday is a Sabbath day. It’s a day of rest. Everyone sleeps late, has a special late breakfast, and then the day is spent playing games, hanging around, listening to music, talking and laughing, and special fun activities, but no work. Nothing. Everybody rests and has fun. Then Sunday is the day for worship services, personal Bible study, spiritual reading, and general quiet time with the Lord.
That is what resting and renewal should look like. That is a great balance between working, playing, and worshipping.
In his book, “The Christian at Play” author Robert Johnston poses the question, “Could it be that what is needed is an alternate attitude toward life … one that would allow work its rightful place while at the same time finding intrinsic value in leisure and play?”
Can all God’s people say “Amen”?
We need to get our balance back. In his ground-breaking study of the American worker entitled, “Working” Studs Terkel concluded, “Most of us … have jobs that are too small for our spirit. Jobs are not big enough for people.”
What he meant was that most of us seek significance and fulfillment from our work, while short-sheeting the rest of life. Work is important, but by itself work will never result in real and lasting fulfillment. For that we need good balance in life. We need to rest, relax, renew, and worship.
What are your plans for this weekend? I’m betting that your body needs a break. I’m thinking you need some real downtime to rest, relax, and have some fun. And you also need spiritual renewal. You need to be in church on Sunday.