It seems so long ago that I was swinging precariously from the corporate ladder, juggling the balls that my job, family, and even church threw my way...never able to say no when another ball was tossed at me by the powers that be.
In those days, my fondest desire was time. Time to sleep, to cook healthy food, to go to my kids' ballgames, time to just sit with my thoughts-uninterrupted. I'd read stories of women who'd taken sabbaticals--sometimes far away, sometimes in their own backyards and I envied them to the core of my being.
Then the inevitable happened...a ball dropped-it was my health...my heart. It was racing...fast. I called a dear old minister friend, Reverend Glady Warburton, and asked her to pray for me. Rev. Warburton is one of those old-school saints/warriors after the pattern of Smith Wigglesworth; and I've often received instantaneous healing when she's prayed. She prayed for me and counseled me sternly. She said; "You will be fine, but it's stress, Debora. You must must must rest. Go lie on your couch and do nothing but meditate on Christ and his Word." When I protested about all the people/things that needed my attention; she cautioned me..."Say No! This is your time to heal. It's all about you and your needs, my dear."
So I said NO. No to my job, my friends, my neighbors, my family, my husband, my church---to everybody that wanted a piece of my time. And I rested. Then I went to the local college and enrolled for fall quarter...in education. I knew I'd eventually be working for half what I made in business, but I'd be living out my old dream of teaching...and I'd have summers off to rest...the long dream of a sabbatical was coming true. And I did just that. I think I may have been the only 40-something, menopausal student with a heart monitor in my classes! Math exams were an instant source of hot flashes for me. But I made it. I got better, and I got my degree.
Now here I am at the end of another school year, planning my summer. It's hard to rest when there's so much to do. The truth is; there's still a ladder I'm tempted to climb, with plenty of balls for me to juggle. Home improvement, sewing, gardening; crocheting; cooking, travel, cleaning...I could go on. But I must remember to keep my 'sabbath'. To take this time to recharge and to spend my time on what counts the most. I feel strongly this year that my theme for this summer is worship. Not merely singing songs in church with arms raised (though that's good); but on my knees before the Throne...listening to the sweetest of all Voices and waiting for His will. My theme song will be "The Haven of Rest". This is my one summer priority. If nothing else gets done...Oh well! It will have been a great summer for me. Won't you join me in making this summer a time of worship and rest? Do you remember the old hymn?
THE HAVEN OF REST
My soul in sad exile was out on life’s sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying, “Make Me your choice”;
And I entered the “Haven of Rest”!
I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
I’ll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I’m safe evermore.
I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word,
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;
The “Haven of Rest” is my Lord.
The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blest,
Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have
A home in the “Haven of Rest.”
How precious the thought that we all may recline,
Like John, the beloved so blest,
On Jesus’ strong arm, where no tempest can harm,
Secure in the “Haven of Rest.”
Oh, come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power divine;
Come, anchor your soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
And say, “My Beloved is mine.”