Ecclesiastes 3:13 – “Everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil—this is God’s gift to humans.”
How often do you take time to celebrate God’s good gifts in your life?
The legacy of our faith is one that involves “Sabbath.“ God created us with a desire for rhythm and intentional life patterns that lead to human flourishing.
As we continue through the busyness of this holiday season, I’m struck by how frantic everyone seems. Bustling from store to store trying to get that last Christmas gift, wrapping up work projects before year’s end, and striving to achieve more in less time leaves us frazzled and hollow.
At Hope Haven Rwanda, we are trying to intentionally slow down to enjoy the present.
We work hard. There is no doubt about that. Teams who come to serve put in a lot of sweat and focus to help enhance our operations in Rwanda.
At the same time, many people find it especially refreshing to be out of their comfort zone, and in a quiet place in the heart of Rwanda. We try to foster this environment by leading meditations, shared around a scrumptious breakfast, in our open-air dining facility every morning.
We also tend to spend lots of time at the fire pit in the evening. There’s nothing like chairs joining a circle around a raging fire, along with a few s’more ingredients, to help the team connect and to talk about the more important things in life.
Last June, one of our board members, Natasha Harris, helped us begin a new tradition. We often ask each other, “What was the high point of your day?” Then we follow it up with, “What was the low part of your day?“ It was fascinating to hear how people reflected on the joys and the challenges experienced in this vulnerable community.
The joys certainly outweigh the challenges at Hope Haven Rwanda because we can see the direct impact we are having! We are not giving handouts, we are offering a “hand up” to so many struggling families. Their future is bright, and the joy they see reflected in the celebrations we share as guests in their community is part of demonstrating the eternal hope we have in Christ!
As the ancient sage noted, food and drink are good gifts from God. They should be enjoyed in their fulness, with moderation, and with an attitude of gratitude.
On a personal level, our family has taken an intentional step this year to try a creative approach to Christmas gifts. If you’re interested in hearing what we’re doing, just reach out and I’d be happy to share it. It is definitely an experiment, but we’re pretty excited to see how it helps us focus on the importance of people instead of “stuff,” during this special season!
Is there any way you could carve out an hour this week for an intentional celebration focused on people?