Resting in action

 God rests in action. … The highest and sweetest rest, even from a human standpoint, is in holy work.

— Mary Baker Eddy

Coming into this weekend, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit in all the responsibilities I’d taken on.

My students had two major projects to turn in Friday, and the quarter ends Monday, so I had a huge stack of papers to grade. That would have been a daunting proposition all by itself, but I’d made it even more daunting by adding two more projects to my plate: I’d volunteered to work a shift at the Reading Room on Saturday afternoon and help with a lecture at church on Sunday afternoon by giving the lecturer a ride from her hotel to the church and back.

OK, Father, I thought. This is all right action, undertaken with right motives, and I know you’ll help me get it all done … but I really hope I don’t have to pull an all-nighter, because I’m already exhausted.

Immediately, a phrase came to thought: “rests in action.” I couldn’t remember the rest of the quote, but I hung onto that idea of resting in action and simply refused to accept any suggestion that a weekend full of good work could doom me to exhaustion come Monday morning.

Perhaps not surprisingly, in addition to juggling all the responsibilities on my list, I’ve found time this weekend to wash the car, clean the bathroom, declutter the living room, clean the gerbil and hamster cages, design two worksheets, write eight notes to students’ parents, and make three suncatchers for my classroom windows — all without staying up later than I normally do on weekends.

Best of all, I’ve been blessed by all my projects: The Reading Room shift gave me several hours of much-needed peace and quiet for study and reflection; my students’ papers were, on the whole, better than I’d anticipated; and my time with the lecturer was both fun and enlightening, full of ideas I’ll think about — and put to good use — for many days to come.

It’s amazing how well things work out when I let go of the false sense that I’m single-handedly responsible for all the projects on my plate.

Hope your weekend was productive and restful, too.