Exactly what is it that causes a day of hard work to result in immediate and deep sleep? Tuesday was an excellent example. My morning consisted of teaching a collection of very active kindergarteners while the afternoon included about thirteen third graders. By the time I hit the pillow, I was asleep.

My thought is that working to the point of exhaustion eliminates the possibility of thinking about anything other than falling asleep. On days when I don’t teach and I am not quite as tired, I find myself mulling over my books past and present, my next teaching assignment, and my upcoming travel. So that’s one level of promoting beneficial rest.

But I think that the more important truth is that it simply feels good to complete a day of hard work and dedication. If you encounter a teacher who says that he or she is not tired after teaching all day, it’s a good bet that they are either not engaged or they put their kids in front of laptops for the whole day.

And so, to the many millions of people who give their all to their work, whatever that may be, I salute you. We see evidence of this everywhere we look. There are the health care workers who work many twelve- and fourteen-hour days in a row. We see police officers and fire fighters who put their lives on the line to serve and protect us. And there are many millions of others who approach their occupations with dedication, enthusiasm, and pride who are never acknowledged.

As I have previously stated, I am privileged to have the opportunities to see students ranging in age from five to fourteen on a daily basis. It is my serious responsibility to educate, support, and encourage them in whatever ways possible. When I sleep well at night, it’s because I am faithful to this responsibility. And if you experience the same form of commitment to serving others, I salute you. Shalom.

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