Last month, in the heat of July, we took an almost-seven-year-old to the zoo to celebrate her upcoming birthday. We also brought her friend. Kevin, myself, two seven-year olds, and 95 degree weather – what could go wrong?
We really had a very nice day. Every thirty minutes, I handed out Dixie cups and poured cold water into them and made everyone drink. Every hour or so, we reached an exhibit with an indoor/air conditioned element. So I forced the girls to sit for 5 minutes at a time and rest. (Pro tip – the animals of the night exhibit is a FANTASTIC place to have a long, cool rest!)
It was extremely difficult to convince the girls to sit on their bottoms and rest their legs. Which was super ironic because leading up to the mandatory “5-minute-rest-period” they were complaining about how tired their legs were! I used lots of apple slices, pretzels, and gummy snacks to convince them to take a few minutes to stop and sit still.
We had a great day at the zoo and I didn’t think much of our rest periods again.
Until Sunday. Our now-officially-seven-year-old was restless and complaining about how quiet and boring our house became on Sundays. She just wanted to run around and play. So I attempted to explain the concept of Sabbath rest.
God has ordained a day for us to rest and reflect on everything He has done and is doing in our lives. We do our best to resist our emails accounts and phone notifications so that we can spend a day resting from the busyness of the week.
At the zoo, I asked the girls to rest quite often when I knew we had a long walk to the next set of exhibits. I knew that they would need the extra energy in their legs and food in their bellies. Even though they complained about being forced to sit and do nothing, I knew it was important so I remained firm. We had to rest.