We Have All the Time We Need Here
April 20, 2021
What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun? For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity. ~Ecclesiastes 2:22-23
On Sunday, our youth shared some insights with us about the pandemic. I am so proud of our youth and the way they have shown us how to be resilient and full of hope. One of the things they mentioned was the way the pandemic had benefited them by teaching them to slow down. They got enough sleep, spent more time with family, and took up new hobbies.
This got me thinking. They didn’t learn this from us, their community of Christian faith -- a faith that demands the observance of Sabbath rest; that claims God rested and, therefore, we should rest, too; a faith that teaches “to everything there is a season” and that too much toil is vanity; a faith that follows Jesus, who withdrew regularly to rest and pray. Doesn’t it seem that with a faith like ours, we could have taught this lesson to our children and youth? No one would learn this lesson about rest from me, the one writing this on my day off to get ahead of my busy week. They learned to rush from us, but when we gave them back their time, they remembered how to rest.
Once I was teaching a room full of children at another church. I had given them time to gather their materials and work on some art. One of the children was moving quickly from the art supplies, to their work station, back to the art supplies, back to their work station. They were clearly frustrated, forgetting one thing or another with every trip. Finally, one of the children seeing that look of frustration, said, “There’s no need to rush. This is church. We have all the time we need here.”
Oh, the lessons I keep failing to learn from children and youth. As we step back into public life a little bit at a time, I pray we can learn from our youth who took time in this pandemic to feed their spirits with sleep, family, and hobbies, and I pray we learn from that child not to rush. This is church. We have all the time we need here.