My husband took a picture of this little guy when we were in Italy on Sabbatical. Neither one of us spoke hardly a word of Italian but we were both able to figure out what these words meant – a sieste (rest) was obligatory (completely necessary!) Truly the Italians and the Greeks know how to handle their climate! It is extraordinarily hot in both countries! In the morning most Greeks and Italians go to work early while it’s still cool. The shops typically opens by 8:00 AM and stay open until 2:00 PM. Then the whole world shuts down for the heat of the day. Everyone goes home, has a hearty meal and takes a two hour nap. Then they open back up at 5:00 PM and remain open until 8:00 PM at which time everyone heads home and either prepares dinner or heads out for an evening of food and frivolity with friends. Most people don’t arrive at the restaurants until 9 or 10 PM and usually stay until midnight or later. With this kind of schedule you can see that a mid afternoon nap is obligatory. You couldn’t survive the schedule without it!
Rest is sometimes very necessary. God knew that about us. God created a sabbath day’s rest for us once a week. I probably was drawn to the picture of this little guy today because I am about to embark on a week’s vacation and I am much aware that I need a little rest. So while I will be with you in worship and at the Gathering Time tomorrow, this will be my last Daily Devotional until I return “to work” on Monday, July 20. I am hoping a little sieste will bring me back refreshed with lots of new insights into God’s work among us in the day to day moments of our lives.
Rest does not come naturally to many of us – certainly not to me. I’m going to make a concerted effort to really rest on this vacation, to have a little fun, visit with my family and relax in the presence of God. I hope you also are making time to rest and be in the presence of God in these summer days. Remember, rest, is all about refocusing our lives in the heart of our creator.
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