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  • Jered Stewart

Time for Rest...Time for Renewal

I have felt a bit of a letdown lately. We all know that it has been a difficult year. Everyone has been impacted in one way or another. The news at Bethany has been good. We’ve only had one Covid-19 case since January. Over 70% of our residents and staff have been vaccinated. Things are beginning to open up again. It feels like we have almost made it over the hump. So why doesn’t it feel better? Why doesn’t it feel like we’ve made it?

Part of this, I think, is that there is still more work to be done. People still have needs to be met. The world hasn’t stopped turning. There is more to be done, always more.

As I’ve been thinking about this lately, I was reminded of a powerful book I once read about rest and renewal. In that book the author says,

“Our reluctance to rest – our belief that our joy or delight may somehow steal from the poor, or add to the sorrows of those who suffer – is a dangerous and corrosive myth, because it creates the illusion that service to others is a painful and dreary thing…there will always be opportunities to be kind and generous. Just as there is a time for every purpose under heaven, so is there a time for nourishment and joy, especially among those who would serve.”

For most people who work in human services and at non-profit organizations, our focus is on helping others. For the past 14 months we have been faced with a crisis, and not only are we personally impacted, those for whom we care have been significantly affected. This has been a tiring year and a stressful time, and I fear that many in our field of service may simply be burned out.

It seems to me that it is time to rest. It is time for renewal. Quite often those who are best at taking care of others, are not good at taking care of themselves. And if the caregiver is not cared for, and can no longer provide care, where does that leave us? I urge our staff, and I urge you as well, to make sure you are “taking care” of yourself. Make sure you take time to rest, to renew, and to restore.

“A life of compassion must include compassion for all beings, including the giver.”

- Wayne Muller

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