By Sarah Seibert, Brethren Volunteer Service Unit 305
I spend the majority of my day assisting in a kindergarten classroom in Roanoke, Va. I tie shoes, sound out words, and referee disputes. My mind is always whirling as I try to think one step ahead, make decisions on the fly, and respond to the chorus of little voices calling my name. As much as I love it, sometimes it is exhausting!
I also coordinate a weekend snack program that sends food home to the school’s neediest students. All its supplies are stored in a closet on the top floor of the building. Amidst the chaos of the classroom, this has become my reprieve. In this windowless pantry I am in total control. I organize, restore order, and strangely enough, have found a sanctuary. It is my sacred space in the school.
A synonym of “sacred” is “holy” which means “set apart.” The storage closet and the space I create when I curl up after a long week with dinner and a good book have become sacred to me because they are places that are set apart for me to rest.
Rest is essential for human beings. Our brains process information while we sleep, but our bodies were not built to be always on the go. God rested (Genesis 2:2-3), and when God brought his people out of slavery and established them as a new nation, God gave them the gift of Sabbath—regular times set apart for rest (cf. Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Leviticus 23).
My life is full of commitments and requests, and there is always more I wish I could do. The temptation to overfill my schedule is always present. Even so—or perhaps all the more—I am called to create sacred spaces to rest. Regular times of rest force me to prioritize, help me gain perspective, and give me a chance to recharge so I can return to work refreshed. These times of rest do not have to only be on Sunday. The purpose of the Sabbath is to ensure we finite humans regularly rest our bodies and reconnect with God.
I encourage you to find ways to create sacred spaces in your life. Embrace God’s gift of Sabbath rest wherever you can find it. Have the courage to be still; forgive yourself when you fail. Return restored and refreshed.
Learn more about Brethren Volunteer Service at www.brethren.org/bvs or support it and many other life-changing ministries of the Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org/give .
(Read this issue of eBrethren)