by Kathye Hamm
I write this having just returned from 10 days of vacation time. Like everything else right now, vacation looks different than it used to. I definitely decided on a ‘staycation’ as all recommendations were to limit or eliminate non-essential travel. Because what I most needed was time away from the demands of email and Zoom and phone meetings I decided that staying put would be OK for me.
I have to admit, getting to that decision and figuring out how to talk about it were not easy. Lending to the tiredness that many of us are feeling is the fact that every decision we make has moral and ethical implications that we need to navigate with ourselves, our households, our faith communities, and many others. For many in our communities time off is not an option because paid time off is not a benefit of their workplace or they are working multiple jobs – so being able to take time off is a privilege that I also acknowledge.
And, we need to remember that getting time off and rest is so important. God baked it into creation when God deemed one of the days ‘sabbath’ and commanded humans to keep it holy. The challenge for so many is figuring out what rest looks like now when the demands are so many and the landscape so challenging to navigate.
Everyone’s situation is unique, so we can’t tell each other how to rest, but we can ask one another – ‘how are you taking time off and getting rest?’. We can ask our pastors, deacons, and church staff members this question. We can ask our lay leaders and our community members, we can ask each other. We can ask in a way that is rooted in love, in curiosity and encouragement, not guilt or shame, and then we can listen and we can encourage.
May you find rest for your bodies and minds and souls in the weeks ahead – and may you invite others to do the same.
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