One of the best pieces of advice I have received regarding education came in the form of a question posed at a summer conference for classical Christian education in 2021.
Rest, respite, relaxation. Leisure. Many people equate rest and leisure exclusively with bodily rest, kicking back in a recliner after a long day at the office, or spending a week on a beach, cabana boys bringing you drinks – and that does have its time and place.
“I can’t go camping with you guys, Claire,” I stutter. “I don’t have any gear. I – I would just get in your way.”
Many Christians raised in American evangelicalism struggle to practice leisure. Between the endless needs of a destitute world, our relative material wealth compared with the world’s poor, and an impoverished anthropology that says true Christians must perennially function beyond their human limitations in order to be radically committed to God, the practice of rest is rife with shame. Leisure is tantamount to backsliding.