So the other day when I was at a store in town I grabbed a package of gum off the shelf. It was only $0.99 so I figured they wouldn't miss it. Then when I was walking to my car I saw this guy from church, he’s married, but for the first time I noticed how HOT he was! And that car he drives… man, I want it soooooo bad. When I got home I went to the wood pile and found this sweet piece of wood to carve out a little idol to put on this empty shelf in my room. Over all it was a good day!
Or was it?
If you didn't catch on yet, that is just a fictitious story. But this is to illustrate a point that was made by our instructor at Mission Training International. Only in his story he was taking the student’s ice cream out of the freezer and lusting after a married co-worker.
1. You shall have no other gods before me
2. Thou shall bring no false idols before me
3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shall not kill/murder.
7. Thou shall not commit adultery.
8. Thou shall not steal.
9. Thou shall not bear false witness.
10. Thou shall not covet.
He brought to our attention that we are pretty aware of the Ten Commandments and really tend to avoid breaking MOST of them. BUT…. What about number 4? Are we allowing one day of rest out of every seven days? This struck me like it never has before. He’s so right. Especially when he took it back farther to the Creation story. It has been in place from the very beginning.
I know there were some in the class that were contesting his theology, but it really does make sense. Plus, having seen missionaries that honor a Sabbath day versus those that are continually on the run, the difference is obvious.
No, we don't have to legalistic about it. There are entire religions founded on this Commandment and sadly they have missed the point in their fog of legalism.
Our instructor was emphasizing the point that all of us humans need rest for our own well-being. Missionaries are no exception. So what will that look like in Uganda? During my time at MTI I discovered that I love to color and lay out staring at the sky. I re-discovered my love for coloring after several stressful days that they created for us. One being a simulation where we were under attack from a group of armed militants. Yes, my time in "The Box" will potentially be a blog in the future. But I went down to the kids department with a friend and we were each given a box of NEW crayons and some pages to color. Two grown adults coloring? Yes, it was AMAZING! I could almost feel the stress exiting my body.
I have always enjoyed taking time to stare up at the sky. Whether it is the daytime clouds and blue sky or the nighttime stars, planets, and satellites. But as I consider the dangers lurking in Africa, I have devised a great plan on how I can use the back of my truck as a portable location to hang a hammock. Even better, just the other night when out with some friends, I was offered a brand new, easy to pack, hammock!! Who knew it was the little things in life that could make me excited!
So not only does my preparation for Africa involve learning how to learn a language, interact well on a team, raising support, large animal medicine, learning participatory training methods, Bible study, conflict styles and resolution, identifying stress, adapting to a new culture- it is also learning how to care for myself. My goal is to not burn out, but to care for myself mentally, physically, and spiritually so I ONLY leave Africa when GOD says that it is time. Either time to move on to some other work that He has for me, or it is my time to leave this earth. So even when I get to Africa, I plan on letting everyone know that I have arrive safely, but will then abstain from communication with the outside world for at least a month as I settle in to my new home.
So what about you? Are you caught in the never ending treadmill of busyness and have rationalized why remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy really doesn't apply like the other nine commandments? Take time to set aside that one day a week for rest. Make sure your ‘rest’ isn't more tiring than restful as well. Sometimes in the summer when my family likes to go boating/fishing… while I enjoy it immensely and will miss it.... the preparation and return is more tiring than the rest of the day was restful.
God put the Sabbath in place for our own good and He has our best interest in mind!!
Even though I turn 32 in less than 3 weeks...I will never be too old to color!!!