Next Sunday morning we turn our clocks back an hour at the end of Daylight Savings Time. That makes me happy because I like to think I'm getting an extra hour to sleep. Not that it matters to me now that I'm retired, but I remember how it was when I worked. There never seemed to be enough time for rest.
This time of year seems appropriate to think about rest as the farmers near the end of their labor-intensive season of harvest. For months they race against the calendar and the approaching winter weather to complete harvest and as much post-harvest work they can before the ground freezes. For most Iowa farmers that probably means another month in the fields, if they are lucky. Before the monster equipment became common, farmers felt fortunate to finish harvest by Thanksgiving.
I watch as the younger generations navigate through the busy years of child-raising, school days, long work weeks, full schedules, and homemaking, and I wonder how they do it.
This time of year doesn't mean rest to everyone. Fall sports come to an end and students shift gears as they prepare for indoor basketball and wrestling, or conditioning for spring track, soccer, softball and baseball. Musicians gear up for the busy season of challenging yet glorious Advent and Christmas music. Churches move into super scheduling of preparation and planning. Retail businesses load up their work schedules with additional laborers to be ready for the big sales season ahead.
As I begin to winterize by bringing in the flower pots and garden hoses, cover the outdoor furniture and grill, carry away the flowers as they die back and water the new trees and plants, I realize how cyclical our lives are. We adjust to the seasons by what we do and how we think. Every moment of every day is useful for work or for rest. God is always with us to provide the extra strength and rest that we need.
Whatever challenges you face today or tomorrow, address them with God's love and help and they will be manageable and achievable.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light," (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).