Rest in the Work

Relaxed doesn’t mean lazy.

“It seems like they have no care in the world. I wish I could be like them, with no stress whatsoever.” – Average person going on a mission trip

Wrong.

They do have things they care about, and they can be stressed. We are all similar, but may handle the same situation differently.

It doesn’t matter what time an event is going to happen, because they know it will eventually get done. People here are hard workers.

That doesn’t mean that one can’t take a break once in a while to talk and catch up with someone. But it doesn’t mean that they are being lazy.

Being here in Costa Rica, I’m learning the balance between rest and work. I’m learning that I need more rest in my day-to-day life, but that doesn’t negate the necessity to work hard.

Here, you work for your food. You legitimately put in physical work on the plantain fields in order to have fried plantains that night.

Here, you work for your house. It’s more common to build houses here than in the States; my host brother, the same age as me, right now is making a plan for a future house he wants to build.

Yesterday morning, our team helped a bit with a house that the church community is building for their pastor. Seeing how detailed and hard-working my host dad was reminds me not to become lazy while I’m here. Seeing the community come together and build a house together makes me desire to see our church communities in the States come together more to help around the community. Think of how much we would grow, serve, and connect if we just worked together more, instead of holding an offering and only donating money to pay someone else to do what we could do, ourselves.

When us Americans come to other countries the mindset of “just pay the next person to do it,” or “use this tool to make it easier,” we are missing something extremely important; the satisfaction of work and community.

Work was meant to be a good thing in the sight of the Lord. It may be hard, but it is definitely rewarding.

And after putting in a good days work, why not rest and relax? Why not just care about the things that are necessary? Why stress about what’s going to happen tomorrow? Tomorrow will happen the way the Lord wills it, anyways.

That also doesn’t mean that people go about life with no plans whatsoever. I need to let my host mom know if I know I’m leaving in the morning so she can make sure breakfast is ready in time. That’s called respect. But if I don’t know what the day might hold for me, I shouldn’t stress out about it. I know that things will happen the way the Lord wills it.

While I live here, I learn a lot. I hope they’re learning from as much as a fraction of what I’m learning from them.

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