In the middle of the program year at church, often around February, I start to dream of the summer. Those days when the pace of life will be slower, when there will be less going on at church, and therefore more time to get those lists that sit on my desk forever done. This is the summer I will actually do some serious planning for Advent and Lent. And so often, as the fall approaches, I find I haven’t actually done those things. Partly it is because life at church never actually slows down the way I seem to imagine it will (!), and partly because, frankly, I rest more.
I often feel guilty about this. In a culture that equates business with value, a culture in which we always want to know what people do, rather than who they are, a culture which decides what we are worth based on what we produce, it is easy to feel guilty about not working flat out all the time. And yet, from the very beginning, God built Sabbath time into the universe. Time to rest and refresh. Time to reconnect to others around us, to the earth itself, and to God. Time to remember that our value does not depend on how many emails we sent or anything else for that matter. Time to remember that we are valuable because we were created in the image of God and are beloved of God.
So this summer, I intend to rest a little more and not feel guilty about it at all. I intend to remember that I am beloved because I exist. And so are you. So rest, relax, refresh, reconnect. And do it with gusto and without guilt. You are valuable beyond measure, not because of anything you do, but simply because you are God’s.