For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. So I concluded that there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
~ Ecclesiastics 3 ~
For a bit now, I've been considering taking a year off from work. Thinking about it to the point that it is making me a little mental. One hour I'm "yes, yes, yes, do it" and the next I'm making a list of all the reasons that I can't or should at the very least put it off for one more year.
On the way home today with spring so clearly in the air I couldn't help but consider the seasons. Before all of the modern niceties that we enjoy (you know ~ central heating, indoor plumbing, electricity) peoples lives were cyclical. They were in cadence with the seasons and moon cycles. Man's work fluctuated with the calendar and priority was always on survival.
I'm happy that my life does not revolve around having to meet the bare necessities. However, I do think that we've lost a certain circadian heartbeat with nature. Our bodies still hold the DNA of our forefathers, who would never have been able to accept the lifestyle we now lead. Locking ourselves indoors, in small rooms with self-imposing deadlines for work that is more or less meaningless. How is it that we have collectively agreed to this as our way of life? Even more, how is that we've agreed we should do it 50 weeks out of every year?
Honestly, I've never been that good at holding down a job. I'm restless and have commitment issues.
Teaching is the best job I've ever been privileged to do. And it is important work. For some kids all of their stability is found at school. And the world is in need of teachers that can both clearly teach them the academic things they need AND be a person of great character and compassion. Making them feel loved and appreciated for what they can give back as citizens, regardless of their life circumstances. In my mind, most of the important stuff that happens in our schools have nothing to do with academics. But academics seem to be the glue ~ or maybe it is the other way around. Sometimes I lose myself in the loop.
There are days when I feel like in the cosmic scheme of things, teaching chose me and not the other way around. And, for as much joy as it can bring, it equally tears at your heart and sanity. Most would be surprised at the level of energy required to make a day happen and make it look easy. Sometimes I am so busy giving to my work life that having any other kind of life exhausts me just from thinking about it. Most days it is out of balance ~ as much as I love it and feel made for it, often it is just too much. Causing all the other parts to suffer. Which saddens me.
I still don't know what my final decision will be. The deadline is looming for March 31st. When I came home with Ecclesiastics 3 on my mind, I was comforted by its meditation on time. We need different things from life at different times, and we always have.
~ I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. ~