Building keyhole gardens in Kageyo is harder than I thought. It’s definitely not something you’d see on home network television. Needless to say, after two days of hard work, developing blisters on both hands, getting cramps in places I didn’t think was possible, I was looking forward to a sabbath.

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So when Craig reminded us to bring a change of clothes so that we could build more gardens after church service, I felt a pang of angst. I agreed to it, but not before making a case for our divinely appointed day of rest.

Then, this morning I woke from a dream that I was certain was God telling me that He did not want us to work on Sunday. The dreamed begged this question of what does a sabbath look like for those who live in Kageyo, Rwanda. Could our desire to meet a quota be dishonoring to their cultural practice of a sabbath. I presented the question to the group which at least got them thinking, which to me felt like one foot in the door. I was somehow completely blind to my own selfish ambition. After all, I was standing on a doctrinal truth, the sabbath is a day of rest.

Then during service, which was amazing, the pastor introduced our team and commented on how much of a blessing we were to their community.

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He then announced that we would be building two more gardens after service. That cleared things up very quickly. However, I was confused. Why would God give me a dream about honoring the sabbath only to throw me under the bus. Obviously, i needed to find a moment, get still and touch base with Him. After service I found myself surprisingly alone, so I sat down to visit with the good Lord. Here is what I heard as plain as day: Do not let your doctrine weigh more than my blessings.

Jesus healed on the sabbath. I won’t go into the mini-sermon that followed that thought, but I felt embarrassed and embraced both at the same time. I was using God’s law selfishly and ignorantly. Even if I wasn’t aware of it at at the time. But God didn’t shame me, he humbled me. He treated me like a son. He held me by the shoulders and spoke to me softly. He gave me wisdom, insight, and understanding and immediately used me to be the blessing to others. How funny.

My prayer is that God would never stop using me to bless others. And that my religion will always be overshadowed by my relationship with Him. I am so thankful that God did not allow me to be a dull instrument today. He sharpened me first.

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