I've been worn out lately. Days are filled with work, schoolwork, and job applications. If I'm not doing one of those things, then I'm definitely stressing about how I should be doing one of them. My prospects of staying in Pittsburgh are not strong at the moment, so I worry about where I'll end up and daydream about how sad my last day in Pittsburgh would be. These are the sort of things that will weigh on your heart and make day-to-day life an emotional challenge.
In combating the weariness I've been overcome with, God has shown Himself to me in a lot of ways this week.
A week ago, my good friend Robby started a discipleship group that focuses on readings from the Philokalia, which is a collection of writings by Eastern Orthodox monks in the 4th and 5th centuries. I am admittedly not an intellectual when it comes to my faith, so the idea of going in-depth with the readings seemed like more of a chore than anything, especially with a lot of other things on my plate. The meeting, though, was fruitful. Robby felt called to include four guys from our church who aren't necessarily close with one another, which was a blessing. The reading last week focused on watchfulness and being aware of our thoughts and how God is active around us. This was a great kick-start to my week.
In the wake of this meeting, I began reading my devotional consistently (My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers). On Tuesday, Chambers told me to seek God, but not to expect Him to come in a particular way. This is a struggle because we WANT Him to come in a particular way, which is why we ask Him for things in prayer. But I knew He'd be faithful, so I watched and waited. On that day, I was rejected for a second interview in the career office where I work at CMU. While this seems like a set-back, it was actually a blessing. I learned on this day that I needed to find a job I'd love, not just one that would get me along. On Monday, I came across a position I'd found at Berklee College of Music. On Tuesday, I found excitement. God used this adversity to show me that it's possible to get excited about work.
Wednesday and Thursday, with the stress of the job search on my shoulders, Chambers reminded me not to worry. He reminded me that God "clothes the grass of the field" and reminded me to look at "the birds in the air" because these things are taken care of by God himself. If they are cared for, of course I will be.
The week eventually ended, but my stress did not. Saturday morning found me at the coffeeshop doing work and stressing all day. I barely enjoyed the evening because I was worrying too much. But then I remembered what I tell my RISE students; when you're working, work hard, but when you're relaxing, relax. Scheduling time to do each will help us to produce fruitful times of work and play.
So Sunday was a sabbath day for me, despite the fact that I had a lot of work on my plate and would have benefited from a day of schoolwork. I went to my friends' recording session, played drums at an incredible service at the Open Door with close friends, and winded down with an evening of basketball with other close friends. I could write an entire blog about Sunday alone.
The point, after all this, is that on the seventh day, God rested!
Who on earth are we to deny ourselves a day of rest per week if God Himself did not deny such a break from His own work?
Saturday, I was such a robot that I could not enjoy my fun evening. So Sunday, I rested and enjoyed every minute of it. Today, I am well-rested and prepared to face the week ahead with fervor. My work has piled up a bit, but as usual God has provided plenty of time for me to do it. What's the worst that could happen? Turning in an assignment late? If I had a dollar for every assignment I turned in late, I could probably buy a new computer to do more late assignments.
Grant yourself a sabbath this week. Follow God's example. He needed a break and so do we.