Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Days of rest

Well, the Baby came safely again, as He does every year. Walking to my car after Midnight Mass, I looked at the stars and was overcome by a feeling of peace. Arriving back home, I sat up reading for awhile, reveling in the darkness and solitude (and, I must admit, waiting for the kids to turn up from their evening activities, none of which, I assure you, included church in any form!). This feeling persisted all through Christmas Day. We had a smallish Christmas this year -- a couple small gifts for each person to open, but mainly gift cards for the adult children. I thought this scaled-down gift-giving would occasion cries of protest, but the kids seem to appreciate that we can no longer predict their taste in anything, and that they will encounter huge sales on the day after Christmas. I particularly emphasized the huge sales aspect.

Working in academia means that, most years, I am off work between Christmas and New Year's Day. Yesterday and today, I have been capable of nothing creative -- I have watched movies, fed birds, played with my dogs, nibbled away at the leavings of the prime rib and spinach casserole, and continued to slog my way through that new biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer which has occupied me, off and on, for weeks. I am so relaxed that I can sit in my chair and nearly feel myself floating away. Good thing the window is closed! I woke up this morning feeling somewhat odd; then I realized I was feeling the sense of well-being that comes with getting adequate sleep!

I appreciate and thank God for this period of respite. In earlier years, I never appreciated rest. Now I see how vital it is, and I suspect that most Americans don't get nearly enough. I used to be one of those people who sacrificed vacation days at the end of the year, claiming that I had no time to be off. How silly I was! Now I claim every second I have coming to me. Why did I think rest was not important?

Thank you, Lord, for this post-Christmas rest, refreshing me for Your service in the new year!

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