Matthew 11:29-30 – Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)
Each spring and fall, I help teach the Scoutmaster's Fundamentals course in our local Scout District. The course involves a Saturday indoor session and a weekend campout. A fair amount of effort is required before the actual sessions to make sure that we are prepared and that the programme is properly organized. The campout is an especially busy time. In addition to our specific teaching duties, the staff has to cope with all the demands of a normal campout — setting up our own staff campsite, cooking our own meals (no simple chore since the staff take their food very seriously) and keeping everything clean and in perfect order so as to set the proper example for the students. All this easily translates into a very full eighteen-hour day. It is no easier for the trainees, since their days, and evenings, are full of classes, competitions, etc., as well as the burdens of organizing their own campsites and meals. Their life is further complicated by the fact that this is the first time that they have worked together as a team. Despite all this, the students invariably learn a lot and have fun while they are learning. Many of them even express an interest in coming back to help teach the course. For the staff, training has become one of the high points in the Scouting year, both for them and for me. It is something to look forward to — a lot of hard work, but also the opportunity to have a good time with old friends while helping others become better Scout leaders. In many ways, the staff has become a family and the training sessions our family reunion.
Teaching this course has helped reinforce the lesson I first learned from my parents that hard work need not be a burden if it is done willing and for a good purpose. Whether it is Scouting, teaching Sunday School or just helping around the church on a Saturday afternoon — serving the Lord has a way of turning what would otherwise be a tedious chore into a rewarding and often enjoyable, even fun-filled occasion. It also brings the "rest to our souls" that Jesus so eloquently described, that comes from knowing we are doing what is right and expected from us.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, grant us the wisdom to know that serving thee is not a burden but rather an opportunity to do thy will, and, in doing so, to draw closer to thee and find rest for our souls. Amen!