I have a question for you. Do you rest from work or work from rest? Now I know certain jobs like farming demand many irregular hours of hard work, but in our modern world we often feel pressured to put in the extra mile, to out perform, to place before all other things career, work and success. These are important as they play a part in providing a better lifestyle for us. However, it could be dangerous to place them in front of our own wellbeing and our loved ones as we potentially take our eyes off the one thing that will outlast any of them, that being family.
Somebody once said to me, ‘the more I slow down, reflect on life and spend time with the ones I love, the quicker I seem to get things done’ and I am a firm believer in this. Reflection, contemplation, meditation, prayer and time with family have been the foundation of many a successful person as they allow our hearts and minds to reconnect, allowing us as human beings ultimately to be restored and recharged. Whilst having a successful career and a labour intensive job we can still build into our diary quiet time for ourselves and quality time with family as it will help sustain a healthier work/life balance.
This perhaps is one of the most important life lessons we can learn. The former First Lady of the United States of America, Barbara Bush suggests it is when she addressed a graduation ceremony.
‘As important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer or pilot will be, you are a human being first, and those human connections – with [yourself], a husband or wife, with children, with friends, are the most important investments you will ever make. At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more exam, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. But you will regret time not spent with your husband or wife, a child, a friend, or a parent. Our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.’
This week in Chapel we have been looking at slowing down, at reflecting and meditating on the good things in life; praising what is pleasing, being excited at what is excellent and doing the things that bring fulfilment and peace to our lives. A good way to respond to this outside of school might be to build in to our schedules more quiet and quality family time. You never know, as we slow down we might find that decisions are made with a clearer head and our relationships are deepened as we put those we love first. And as we do this we might also discover that working from rest, rather than resting from work is perhaps the best thing we can do.