This week marks the end of the first quarter of the school year. This has been the most “normal” quarter since 2019 – absent of lockdowns or online classes. Campus life continues to make a comeback, as students enjoy international and domestic school trips, sporting events, extracurricular activities, X Blocks, KICS, and make preparations for IMPACT service-learning trips. Parents have also reconnected to our community through PTO, prayer groups, parent seminars, open houses, and athletic events. Of course, it is great to see Dalat back to life, but with this comes a family calendar packed with activities. In short, we are busy again!
As we prepare for the mid-semester break, let’s consider the benefit of incorporating rest into our upcoming break. The biblical tradition of rest (or sabbath), can often go neglected with the demands placed on us by school, work, family, and activities. A common thought is that a sabbath rest is what gives us energy for the following week, but Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel explains that the Sabbath “is not for the purpose of recovering one’s lost strength and becoming fit for the forthcoming labor. The Sabbath is a day for the sake of life.” We were made to rest in God and for His purposes; as Saint Augustine similarly says in his Confessions, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” The emphasis is on designating a time for a focused relationship with God.
Choosing to devote time to practising the Sabbath impacts how people manage work and stress. For example, research on the relationship between “keeping the Sabbath” and teacher burnout at international schools found that teachers who report “keeping the Sabbath” regularly experience statistically significant lower levels of burnout. I believe that this concept holds true for all in the Dalat community – for teachers, students, and families. With our school theme of “Reconnect,” let us be challenged to renew our connection to God by practising a sabbath and choosing to “be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10).
Written by Dr Tressa White
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Though these traditions differ from those in our home country, they share key principles that bind us to our community, link us to our past, and cultivate enduring memories.
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