Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rested

I had a lovely weekend. I ate at an Ethiopian restaurant with the Michelles. Ethiopian food is so good - definitely a new favorite! It was really great just to have something with flavor. Tanzanian food is so very bland. Then I spent the night at Michelle's house. Homemade brownies, a good movie, and snuggling up under a goose down duvet...plus an incredible breakfast (Australian Michelle is a fantastic cook) - yep, it was pretty much amazing. Then I spent this afternoon at the house of a Nigerian UN worker (a friend of a friend). We ate Nigerian food (which is also delicious) and watched TV and had a long nap. I feel more refreshed than I've felt in a really, really long time! Praise the Lord!

I was very sick earlier this week and missed a whole day of classes for the first time since I've been here. I think I must have eaten something that my stomach really didn't like. My students get so worried and upset when I feel the slightest bit sick, so I was glad I was able to go back to teaching the next day. Anyway, it was good to get some good food and rest this weekend.

I've been thinking about rest a lot lately. God is in the process of re-teaching me what rest is, since my usual ideas of rest (snuggling up in a lazyboy with a warm blanket, a cup of cocoa and a good book or lounging around the house in my pajamas on a Saturday morning or going window shopping at the mall) are all completely unattainable here. I read this quote by Henry Drummond about what true rest is:

“Two painters were once asked to paint a painting illustrating his own idea of rest. The first chose for his scene a quiet lonely lake, nestled among mountains far away. The second using swift broad strokes on his canvas, painted a thundering waterfall. Beneath the falls, grew a fragile birch tree bending over the foam. On its branches, nearly wet with the spray from the falls, sat a robin on its nest.

The first picture was simply a picture of stagnation and inactivity. The second, however, depicted rest.

Outwardly, Christ endured one of the most troubled lives ever lived. Storms and turmoil, turmoil and storms – wave after wave broke over Him until His worn body was laid in the tomb. Yet His inner life was as smooth as a sea of glass, and a great calm was always there. Anyone could have gone to him at any time and found rest. Even as the human bloodhounds were dogging him in the streets of Jerusalem, He turned to His disciples, offering them a final legacy: ‘My peace.’

Rest is not some holy feeling that comes upon us in church. It is a state of calm rising from a heart deeply and firmly established in God.”

So even though I can't lounge around in my pajamas all morning since I have to get semi-dressed just to go to the bathroom and even though I can't sleep-in on a Saturday morning since it sounds something like a small circus outside my window at 7:00, I still have hope that I can in fact be rested. That means there is hope for all you Charlottesvillian work-a-holics too :)

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