As a person who highly values working hard and completing tasks, the Labour Day holiday is one I embrace. I appreciate that around the world, societies recognise the importance of labour – it is the backbone of so much in our world. I also appreciate a good day off for complete rest from my labour.
On this May 1 holiday, I made a special effort to work at not working. I shifted my brain to neutral and spent the day with my wife and colleagues from church relaxing on a junk boat trip.
The day could not have been better. I found myself literally encircled by a gorgeous ocean, a deep blue sky, island vistas, magnificent rocky cliffs interspersed with caves, jade-green clear water, and perfect weather. As I lounged on the deck, snacks and drinks were at my fingertips. I was surrounded by good friends who provided engaging conversations and families with children delighting in time with their parents and friends. I loved watching the kids run around the junk and holler and splash in the water. I took just enough time in the refreshing water to re-energise my tired body from a long month of work in April. At times, I found myself relaxing alone comfortably in the wonderful surroundings of that time, place and people. I was blessed.
At some point I realised, “My soul is resting!” I relaxed and experienced afresh God’s presence. I sensed fully that God is good, all the time and right now! I appreciated my Labour Day break to leave the rushed urban existence behind for a while… to slow down… to treasure relationships… to engage and be engaged… to laugh… to take in the beauty of God’s creation… to soak up revitalising water and sunshine… to simply breathe.
We all need such times!
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake… Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:2-3,6