By Elizabeth Prata
It’s the question of the week. Our school’s Spring Break is coming up beginning Friday and extending into the first week of April. The week off is very much cherished and also needed. If you’ve ever watched Principal Gerry Brooks‘ hilarious videos about life as an educator, he nails it humorously every time. Teaching is tiring.
A lot of my friends are headed to the beach for a half-week or week of fun in the sun. Ohters are going to various cities, on cruises, or to sports events or festivals, and the like. I’m staying home.
For many years before I was saved, I traveled. I went places in Europe, South America, North America, and the Bahamas. We traveled at the drop of a hat and I was extremely blessed to have done all the things I did. So for the last 11 years or so, I’ve been content to remain home living a quiet life and doing smaller things near home on Spring Break.
This year I felt a restlessness in me and I wanted to GO. Then started up an envy of others’ plans, and a discontent with my inability to go anywhere. There is a cute studio Air BnB an hour and a half away on a lake I’ve been wanting to spend a couple of days in. There is a cosmpolitan and trendy boutique hotel right in Athens I’d like to stay, and I’d do a historical tour through Athens, or spend afternoon at the Botanical Garden. Even that is out of financial reach. I started to get upset.
Discontent is a new thing for me. I’m generally content with what I have and pleased with the opportunity to stay alone and quiet. School is wonderful but on occasional days it is a trial for someone sensitive to noise and clamor. I am blessed to come home to peace and quiet to recharge.
I needed to deal with my discontent before it settled into me like a sticky dark cloud clinging to nooks and crannies of my mind and heart, ready to grow tentacles and grab other sins. Because, discontent with what the Lord has given me is a sin, wanting more or something different is a sin, and sin always only grows unless it is dealt with.
I love my apartment. I love my work. I love my church. I love my life. I have everything I need. I even have a bunch of things I’d wanted above the basic need. The Lord graciously provides lavishly. There is really no reason to be upset. After 11 years of watching other people go away to beautiful places and feeling only happiness at their opprtunity to experience something wonderful, thinking ‘I got this, suddenly sin zoomed in from left field when I wasn’t expecting it. Whoa. Sin really IS crouching at the door. I repented and asked the Lord to puncture this sin like the flimsy balloon that it is.
My calm and patient and peaceful-in-the-soul plans for Spring Break now include reading these fine books, some of them having been given to me, free! Blessing! I am still plugging along on the Challies Annual Christian Reading Challenge. (I chose Avid Level, 26 books/year 2019). I’ve experienced a slow-down in March but I hope to use the time during April Break to catch up.
On Friday after school in order to inaugurate my week off, I’ll go to The Special Store in hunt of a particular teacup I know they have. Hopefully it’s been unpacked from their storage building and put on the browsing shelves. On the following Saturday, April 6, there is a major ‘Junkin & Pickin’ day at a fairgrounds 2 miles from my home. The organizers have over 85 vendors already. I’ll look forward to ambling about in the spring sunshine looking over the handicrafts and antiques.
On one of the other days when it’s sunny, I’ll likely go into Athens on a photo expedition. I like photos of gritty urban landscapes and architecture. I have chosen a particular area to haunt and stroll, perhaps sipping a fancy coffee and taking photos as I go. Maybe meet up with friends for lunch. Those things, plus reading outside in the sun at my patio table, decorating it and rearranging the springtime decor I’ll put out, at home will be plenty fun for me.
And to be honest, when it comes down to it, the idea of going far afield to some exotic beach or lake location appeals to me more than the actual going. Discontent really isn’t rational.
The Lord is kind to accept our repentance of sins. The Spirit is kind to enlarge our thankfulness in an ever growing sanctification.
Happy Spring, and if you’re an educator, Happy Spring Break!