Friday, October 3, 2014

Listening To the Kettle Whistle

"You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you." -Psalm 128:2

     I am a big tea drinker. I love hot tea, I love cold tea, I just like tea in general. And now that the weather is cooling off (well, it's October but I live in Texas so it's still in the 90's here but I'm pretending that it's cold) I have started drinking more hot tea. In fact, I am drinking some now as I write this. Anyway, as a regular tea drinker, I have a whistling tea kettle. When I first started using the tea kettle, I thought it was cheap because it never seemed to whistle correctly. It would give out a weak, unsatisfactory squeal letting me know in barely a whisper that my tea was ready. I lived with it, and I drank my tea from a kettle that was inefficient and didn't seem to want to work. Well one day when I was sitting at home alone while my mom ran some errands, I started making my regular cup of tea. I put the kettle on the stove and went on about my business. Not very long after I hear this wonderful, glorious whistling coming from my kitchen. I had forgotten about the tea and could now hear the whistling throughout my whole house. As it turns out, I was too busy trying to be efficient, that I forgot to enjoy what I was using.

     Sometimes in life we can get so wrapped up in getting things done efficiently and swiftly, that we forget to actually enjoy the things that come with our work. Ecclesiastes 5:12 says "Sweet is the sleep of the laborer". Yes it's important for us to work, yes it's important for us to be efficient, but it's important to rest. It's important to take time aside for yourself. Psalm 128:2, as we see at the top of this article, says "You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you." Sometimes we get so caught up in working that we forget to enjoy the fruit of our labor. We forget to take time aside and remember that we aren't just working machines. It's okay to take some enjoyment in what we do. Whether it's your work for the Lord, your job, your school, anything! It's important to take time aside to enjoy and appreciate all the work you've done. 

     Why? Why is it important for us to enjoy what we've done? Why is it important to look back and see what all you have done? Well, if not then we can get burned out. I love to run. About two years ago I started running every morning, and I got pretty good at it! I got in shape quickly and I enjoyed it. Then I started getting these dizzy spells that kept me from doing just about everything. They were really bad for about a month or two and by the time they were finally bearable, I was out of shape again. Forgetting that I had to get back in shape, I started running again. This time, however, instead of starting out small and progressing, I started out sprinting long distances on the hard sidewalk. The next week I was unable to run because my knees hurt so bad it was physically impossible to run. In fact, I had hurt my knees so bad that about 4 months after that I tried running and couldn't even get up to a jog without immense pain. Why? I forgot to rest. I had forgotten to take some time and rest instead of going all at once. If we forget to take time out for ourselves, it can be easy to get worn out and just stop working altogether. 

     Are you taking your kettle off the stove too fast? Are you forgetting to enjoy the fruits of your labor? Are you over-working yourself? Today I would like to encourage you all to take some time out of your busy schedule and do something you enjoy. Go see a movie. Go shopping. Take a nap if you want to. We were created to rest every once in a while! Today I would like to encourage you all to take a break. Even if it's just 30 minutes, it's still important.