Tag Archives: work

REST: An Invitation to More

Ever since this year began, one thing that I’ve been learning is the value of Rest and what it is. Little did I know that in a couple of months most of the whole world would take a compulsory break. Many are working from home, some are laid off from work, and some are alone or with their families.

But even when work and activity are reduced it does not mean that we are resting, you know. In the past few weeks I’ve come to appreciate this more, and when it’s lacking I know I need to seek rest.
In this short series I’ll be writing about Rest and why it’s God’s intention and provision for us all. You can get the whole lowdown in the Twitter threads I wrote earlier this year here and here. I just thought I should bring it here as well, including what I’ve learnt since.

There’s so much activity around us these days. On and off the online superhighway there’s so much news, so many trends to engage with, mouths to feed, work to get done, deadlines to meet, expectations to reach and goals to, well, score I guess. It can be so overwhelming sometimes. I for one can identify.

The Net used to be my avenue for fun until work moved here this year. I found myself weighed down and overwhelmed. I just don’t seem to have the capacity for so much information and trending topics, with conspiracy theories sewn between. Deadlines whizzed by like traffic, horns blaring an’ all 😅, and I knew I needed a break.

This makes me to better appreciate the concept of the Sabbath.
The Sabbath, or Shabbat, is a Jewish tradition dating from the time of Moses. The seventh day of each week was set aside as a holy day of rest. It was one of God’s commandments to the Jews in separating them to be His very own people. In Exodus 20:8-10 He said,

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

It is still the hallmark of Orthodox Judaism to this day.
Shabbat means ‘rest’ or more correctly, ‘ceasing from work’. See, that was the point. They could do all their work for 6 days but on the 7th day, all work was to cease. Even if it was harvest time, they would either harvest their crops before Shabbat or after Shabbat. As soon as the first star was seen in the sky, families would gather in their homes for the Shabbat meal, commemmorating it with a prayer of blessing. The day of rest would extend until the next evening, and thus Shabbat was done.

Note that this was not idleness. It is rest from work.

Now I’m not advocating the Sabbath day as a rule for all, no. It was an instruction as part of a covenant relationship God had with the people of Israel only. But, like with much of the Law, it was for their hygiene and well-being as well. If we understand the essence of it, it would be of great blessing to us because of what it tells us about ourselves, our work and of God’s nature.

And this is the three-fold essence of Shabbat as I’ve come to learn it.
– Rest for you
– Rest for your field (Note that I didn’t say ‘rest FROM your field. There’s a difference); and
– You know what, this is the best of the three so I’ll leave it for the end.

Shabbat is Rest for You

You need rest.
Our bodies need rest, and the Israelites were no different. They were a majorly subsistence and agrarian society at the time of Shabbat’s origin, so much of their work had to do with their survival. They relied on their fields and crafts for their livelihood, for their food and shelter and as a basis of commerce. They NEEDED to work to live, yet God was telling them to leave it for 24 hours.
It’s kinda like us today. We have needs to provide for, mouths to feed, and deadlines to meet. But if we stay in the constant grind of work it becomes slavery: a curse, far from God’s intention for us. We need a break even if we don’t feel like it. Unless there is a law some of us won’t stop working because we NEED to work.
This is one of the reasons I’m extra thankful for the concept of the Weekend, a legal break from work.

Do you know that the word holiday came from the term holy day? Or that the origin of a five-day workweek and 2-day weekend was tied to the need of Jewish workers to rest on Shabbat? (Check it out, it’s worth googling) It gradually extended to others, and Saturday and Sunday became legal holidays.
Just like Shabbat gave the Jews an opportunity to spend time with family and think on their covenant with God, weekends and holidays give us the opportunity to look at the things that matter apart from our work. To spend quality time with family and friends. It affords us the opportunity to see life as something much bigger than the bubble our work squeezes us into. It’s why when people go to relax they say they need to ‘unwind’.
When we are well-rested, we can go into the new week refreshed.
Just like the beauty of music is in the sounds and the pauses between, life and work are best enjoyed when there is a rhythm of rest even in a schedule of work.

Shabbat is Rest for your Field

Rest is necessary FOR the work you’re doing.
I first learnt this from the concept of the Sabbath years given in the Old Testament for every 7-year interval. After every 7 years, God instructed, the land was to rest from all tilling and cultivation. For a whole year!

Exodus 23:10 and 11 says

“Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove.

I constantly look at that and wonder how they would have eaten or coped during that Sabbath year.
I imagine that they would have had to become more creative and strategic. In the time leading up to the Sabbath year they may have worked extra hard to have an abundance to enjoy in the seventh year. For money they may have had to explore other crafts like carpentry and pottery to make a living, opening their minds to other possibilites as opposed to the monotony they were used to.

I believe God, the primo Creator who paints the skies, loves variety! But that’s a discussion for another time.

The Israelites may have enjoyed a ‘Garden of Eden’ experience, where they are eating without cultivating or planting. For that one year they ate without working because the work had been done. The land was fruitful. That’s some rest.
I have found that when I face my work only for a long stretch of time, I lose the passion and drive that called me to it in the first place. When we see our work as our sole supply and focus it puts more pressure on it than it needs. Like driving an 18-wheeler on a road made for bicycles, the road will wear down until there are more potholes than roadways. Productivity suffers when there is no passion or capacity.

Whether it’s a 9-5 or freelance work or a creative endeavour, this still applies. I have seen it in my work too. When I’m overwhelmed I take a walk, or spend time with family and friends. Anything worthwhile to keep me away from the work. Sometimes my weekly meetings with church are my opportunity to cut loose and relax (And any of my church fam reading this can tell why my dry jokes come easily when I’m with them. It’s me unwinding, really.) And when I do return to the work, my mind is refreshed and rested. The time has afforded me the opportunity to consider and reconsider ideas. Some alternative methods of getting the work done have passed through my mind, or I have sought counsel from another who knows how to do it. Either way, I am coming back to it better because my mind is less burdened.

My mind is refreshed because I rested.

Because, you see, my mind is the field of supply, not the work itself. The work is just a medium to bring out what God has placed in me into a substrate (a job, or assignment, or task) in which it can be fruitful.

This is, in a sense, why academics go on a leave or vacation that is aptly called a ‘Sabbatical’. It is an opportunity outside of the grind of their usual grounds, so they can learn and practise in their field in a different environment. They are still working, but the novelty adds colour to an otherwise drone of monotony.

There are targets to meet and fulfil, but be deliberate about taking time to rest. Not all of us can afford to rest on weekends, but make the time. I know someone who I was told takes his rest on Mondays due to the nature of his work. Some take periods of rest everyday, which I also encourage.
Either way, for the field (your mind) to be refreshed, take time to rest.

The Core of Shabbat

So far I have looked at the essence of rest for you and for your mind for your work. But here is the best part, which gives meaning to the previous two.
You ready?
OK, here we go.
God patterned the Sabbath rest after His Creation Story of Genesis 1 and 2. After working in creating for 6 days He rested on the 7th day. In asking the Israelites to follow this pattern He was inviting them to share in a pattern that had been exclusive to Him alone all this time!

This is why the seventh day was set apart as a holy day. It was God’s Day, the day He set aside for them to come and join Him. So despite the problems they encountered day-in and day-out they celebrated God’s Rest in hopes of a future and completed Rest He would call them into.

Shabbat is God’s invitation to Himself.

Shabbat is an invitation to faith. It beckons us to a way of life where our trust is not in our work or livelihood or our abilities and limitations, but fully in God. That way we would see all these other parts of life as channels through which God, our True Source, can supply every need of our lives.

And, oh, Shabbat is a shadow of a deeper reality that Jesus called us into as He whispered, “It is finished.” Or as the Contemporary English Version put it, “Everything is done.”

Now all who enter in can face life’s battles, and indeed face all of eternity, from the Victory that Christ has already won. Living as something more than conquerors. It’s a life we gain access to by trusting our lives to Him, with the promise of seeing and experiencing greater and greater expressions of His glory in us through us and around us as we go deeper and deeper in Him.

Like in Romans 5:1 and 2 Paul wrote,

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Shabbat has always been about God calling us to His own domain of rest. As if God called us to visit Him for lunch, so we can experience what His kind of life is like.

And in Jesus, He opened the doors wide open so we’d never ever have to leave. In Christ, God is our home.

Hebrews 4 lets us know that there still remains a Rest for the people of God. But didn’t we enter that rest when we came to Christ? Or is that Rest Heaven?

Well, yes and yes. This Rest is an eternity with God, but it’s also the experience of the journey towards that. Truly, eternity with God begins when we accept God’s gift of eternal life in Christ, but the fullness of this will be when we are present with the Lord either in death or at His Return. There is really nothing like it, and it is absolutely something to look forward to.

Until then, it’s a crescendo of a journey as His lifestyle of Rest invades ours.

Even as believers sometimes we have those Martha moments (not the Batman “WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME?!” kind 😉. But the Luke 10:40 kind). I can personally identify with Martha in that story much of the time. I have those moments where legitimate work and needs cloud me from the value God has for us outside of it in the quiet stillness, opening the door to pressure and eventually missing the point of what God is saying or doing. And that, missing God’s point, is sin and the root of all sin.

Trusting in His ability. Submission to His Lordship. “Not my will but Yours.” This is His Rest. Anything outside of this is disobedience and causes us to miss out on the Life He’s provided for us.

So I’m learning to live from this place and understanding. To live from His rest and, in my work, take time to rest. To work in and from peace, not the pressure of fear or loss.

His Perfect Love casts out all fear. There is no fear or pressure in love.

Living from that assurance that God is for you and that He loves you, that’s rest.

The Sabbath of the Lord is not bound to a day but for all eternity. The 7th day unended.

Jesus beckons us in. He says,

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NKJV

It’s an invitation for all to enter.

Have you entered?


Thanks for reading!

I’ll continue this subject next week with ‘Breaking the Sabbath’ (and now you’re probably like, “Wait what?!”)

I’ve also got something planned for writers in my own journey that could be of help. Should be this week.

😁 See you then.

Yellow Pages of Tomorrow

Hi there! Emmanuel here!

Thank you all for the likes, shares, comments and words of encouragement on my last post: GANGSTUH WEDDING. I was SOOO thrilled to see that you all enjoyed it. I love you guys! Really, God bless you all. It’s amazing what He does with stuff like this.

But today’s feature is not about me. It’s about my friends, you see. Many of them have got a lot of cool stuff going on, and I’d like to let you all in on it. The creative gifts God has given these guys is finding expression in amazing ways, and you really need to check out what they’re up to.

So here we go, as we take a look at the Yellow Pages of Tomorrow. The “Who’s Who of the Future” to which we are headed.

TreasureHouse Media, HeirWalk and the Donut Project

donut teaser
The DONUT Project Teaser

Tolu Joshua Babarinde (Writer and Creator of TreasureHouse Media) blogs at www.heirwalk.wordpress.com, where he encourages young people to connect, to learn, to grow, and to shine as he shares amazing and timely updates from his walk with God. His ‘HeirWalk’ print bulletin recently reached its 11th issue (available for free download at this link). He recently embarked on the journey toward his first published book, with the title ‘DONUT’. I’ve read it and it is really awesome. While this is neither the place nor time for a review (that’ll come soon) I can tell you that this book’s conversational tone kept me turning pages (or tapping the ‘DOWN’ key, as I was reading it on my computer) as he explained important pointers of the life God wants for us. You can follow his journey as this project comes to life on his book blog: The Donut Project 2014, www.eatyourdonut.wordpress.com. Go check it out; it’s pretty cool.

Hip Hope Republic

Hip Hope Republic (from the HHR Facebook Page)
Hip Hope Republic (from the HHR Facebook Page)

Since they hit our Facebook feeds with their amazing stunts and photographs, Hip Hope Republic has left an indelible imprint, and keeps dishing out more surprises with each new offering. They’ve got people going, “This is SO COOL! Who are these HHR guys, anyway?!” Hip Hope Republic is a community of creative minds, actively redefining Dance, Music, Photography, and Art. These art lovers are excellent at what they do, and the core is made up of some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. A lot of them will be mentioned in this article, no surprise. If you love crazy cool stuff that stretches the bounds of your creative zing, check out their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HipHopeRepublic.

Dimiyei (Blog)

Dimiyei Sammy and I met at our N.Y.S.C. Orientation Camp, and we were both surprised to find that we shared similar interests. To this day we constantly challenge ourselves with puns and humorous comments that get other people wondering what planet we come from (Krypton has declined affiliation with us, so explanation is quite challenging) Anyhoo, Dimiyei is excellent in his writing and all media-ish. This guy’s amazing. He shares his stories, poems, articles and videos on his blog at www.dimiyei.wordpress.com. So go there sometime, will ya?

 

Temissan001 (Blog)

Temi Hassan, a talented dancer, model, artisan, God-lover, Art-lover and writer among other things, blogs at www.temissan001.wordpress.com, where she shares her spell-binding poetry. Her writing has such a way of getting to the core of the reader, you’d either be amazed or even cry … or both. Either will surely come first. So if you’re looking for the best of poetry that comes from and reaches the heart, go see her blog.

(Did I mention that she’s with Hip Hope Republic?)

Custard ‘n Cake (Blog)

Tomi Oyegoke is such an amazing person, and an interesting writer too. On her blog, she shares truth to build up phenomenal youth; all about and from a life sprinkled with the sugar of S.W.A.G. (Saved With Amazing Grace). Her tone makes her work relatable to young people who can identify with much of the issues she discusses. If you haven’t already, go see her blog at www.custardncake.wordpress.com.

 

SMISH

SMISH
Publicity promo for SMISH’s single, ‘Issokay’

Samuel ‘SMISH’ Ishola (SMISH) is a rising hip hop artist, with an interesting style. The friendly guy that he is, he characteristically relates life issues in his songs. His background and enthusiasm for hip hop influence his work with purely amazing lyrics and beats, and a heart to go with it. To date he’s released up to three singles (which I keep telling him, need to get married! … [beat] … OK, I know that one was lame): “Movin’ On” (feat. Sammie jay), ‘Come and Go’, ‘Get High’ and ‘Issokay’ (available for free download at their respective links). Go check out what he’s been up to on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Smish001.

(Oh yeah, he’s with Hip Hope Republic as well.)

Oludidit® Studios

oludidit diy
OludidIt frames (from the Oludidit Studios Facebook page)

oludidit wall

Banke Fasominu is the CEO of Oludidit® Studios, a professional make-up studio which also makes picture frames and other amazing wall décor using wood and fabric. The creative excellence oozing from her work is inspiring and dazzling, begging the question: “What can’t Oludidit® do?!” She chronicles her work and the journey involved on the Oludidit® Facebook page. The courage and enthusiasm she puts into her work singles her out as one of the best that I’ve seen at what she does.

You can check out Oludidit® Studios on their blog on www.oludiditstudios.blogspot.com, see (and like) the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OludiditStudios, and follow them on Twitter: @Oludidit.

 

BeLifted.Me (Blog)

Lola Odeniyi daily blogs at belifteddotme.wordpress.com where she shares God’s Word in an amazing and exciting way. I don’t know how she does it! There’s always something new to share every single day, and it’s uplifting. I’ve been blessed by the work of this blogger with a difference. Sometimes I just see the latest blogpost in my mail, read it, and am encouraged or learning something new. You really should consider following her blog. You don’t know what you’re missing if you haven’t. Go check it out, and as she would say, “Be lifted!”

 

Iam_papyrus and Written Percussion (Blogs)

Two blogs; but one amazing man behind them all. Israel Adejobi is a prolific writer and an amazing guy as well. Israel is one of those precious few I know that know the intricate structure of a good written piece, and his amazing work proves this as well. You can read his poetry at www.iampapyrus.blogspot.com, and also check out his work in other genres at www.writtenpercussion.wordpress.com.

Stephen Ladoye’s Blog

Stephen Ladoye's Blog
Stephen Ladoye’s Blog … which goes beyond the blog.

Stephen Ladoye is quite enterprising. He runs the eponymous news network on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and on his blog (hence the name). If there were any other social media platform, I’m certain he’d be on it. Be it politics, entertainment, geeky stuff, whatever! This guy knows his thing. Do check him out sometime, and even follow him on Twitter at @LadoyeX, or even on his blog at www.stephenladoye02.blogspot.com. You’d be glad you did.

ShopyGFX

shopygfx

Even back when we were undergrads, this guy was at the cutting edge of multimedia, graphics, 3D, video, visual effects – you name it! The unstoppable Sope Adebowale runs ShopyGFX. Words don’t express how amazing his work is. You gotta see it for yourself. I was privileged to work with him in VHFMedia for a while, and I can tell you that he’s an amazing guy. You can see his work on his Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/ShopyGFX.

The Illusion Group

The Blades of Ennui (coming soon from The Illusion Company)
The Blades of Ennui (coming soon from The Illusion Group)

The Illusion Group is a team of people with creative talent and the desire to use it to influence entertainment positively. They are students in the University of Ibadan, but their first movie, ‘The Blades of Ennui’, is currently in post-production. ‘Blades’ is a psychological thriller of amazing proportions (how many times have I used the word ‘amazing’ now?). It’s something to look forward to. You can look up their page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBladesofEnnui, or follow them on twitter @D_IllusionGroup.

You can see the ‘Blades’ movie trailer here.

‘Lhaeide Media Inc. (LMI)

 lhaeide media inc

Ope Okunbor, excellent photographer that he is, runs ‘Lhaeide Media Inc. (LMI), an excellent photography outfit. The quality of his photos shouts the fame of the talent behind the lens. You know, when it comes to pictures, words don’t do justice. Let the pictures do the talking. You can look up some of his work at the following links: www.lhaiede.blogspot.com, or see his work on Twitter @OpeOkunbor.

Did I mention that he’s also a core member of Hip Hope Republic as well? (OK, you really have to check out the HHR page, if you haven’t)

House of Dabira

House of Dabira
House of Dabira
Folu Ajayi (Creative Director, House of Dabira)
Folu Ajayi (Creative Director, House of Dabira)

Folu Ajayi is the Creative Director of House of Dabira. Created in December 2011 but launched in April 2013, this fashion designer has come a long way and is gradually taking over. The style of their work displays creativity, attention to colour and luxury, be it in Women’s wear or Men’s wear – you name it!! With numerous awards, nominations, presentations and accolades to their name, House of Dabira is sure to be at the cutting edge of fashion design for a very long time. You can follow her work on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OfficialHouseofDabira, or on Twitter @House_Of_DABIRA

 

This last one deserves special mention

The Vessels of Honour Foundation

Vessels of Honour Foundation
Vessels of Honour Foundation

What can I say here?

In the University of Ibadan, this cradle and breeding ground of champions is growing – unstoppable. Its impact and influence go beyond all borders. There is so much God has done, and is doing here. I am a product of VHF, and so are many of the folks I’ve mentioned above. And there are many more; much more than this article could contain. God used my time in VHF to immensely perfect my gift, and for this I am eternally grateful.

Even if I wrote an entire article, it would not adequately qualify the Vessels of Honour Foundation (though I will, someday). For now, I’ll just give you the link to the website: www.vhfui.org.

The Vision of VHF is ‘“To raise a generation of believers who are in Full Identification with the Purposes and Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, using such identification to influence People, Nations, Systems and Institutions.” And it is doing just that.

—————————————

You know, when I first embarked on this article I didn’t really have a long list. But as I kept going, more and more people came to mind. There are many more amazing people I could tell you about, amazing blogs I could share, amazing musicians, and amazing corporations and businesses on the rise that I’ve had the privilege to know. But time and space would fail me to share them all here. I hope to do this again sometime, and who knows, maybe YOU will be featured in the next ‘Yellow Pages of Tomorrow’ feature. I look forward to doing that.

Let these folks and their work encourage and inspire you to do great things. There is so much God has placed in you. In the midst of the good times and the not-so-good times, He’s been shaping a bigger and better product out of you. He’s given you all you need to use to make the world and the lives of the people in it better and brighter. The world needs a hero, someone to stand up and fill a specific role, and only you can do that because God gave you the gift needed. So use it for His glory, and do it excellently.

To every one of my friends featured on here: I’m totally proud of you guys! Really, I’m one of your biggest fans (if this were a movie, I’d probably be that kid that camps outside your office window holding an ‘I [HEART] YOU’ sign)! Keep it Up, y’all. That’s where it belongs.

I leave you all with these words from God’s Word, something I’m learning as the days go by.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

😀