Some of my favorite episodes of The Next Generation have nothing to do with gravitational anomalies, interspecies conflicts or mysterious aliens coming aboard the Enterprise. Some of the best episodes of The Next Generation are the smaller, more intimate explorations of the characters and their relationships, not necessarily the exploration of deep space.
One of the best relationship-driven episodes is the second of the fourth season: “Family”. Not only is it the only episode of the entire series without an appearance by Data, but it also diverges from the series’s focus on science fiction. The producers were wary of an episode dedicated to the crew’s familial relationships, but they thought it necessary to show Picard’s recovery from his ordeal with the Borg.
In the episode Picard retreats to his brother’s home in order to heal from the physical, emotional and psychological wounds he suffered at the hands of the Borg. The episode is a great examination of Picard’s past and the decisions which led him to Starfleet. The episode is also a great example of the need we all have to stop and breathe after a difficult season or a draining ordeal.
While it may not be as bad as getting abducted by the Borg, back-to-back weeks of summer camp can be pretty trying.
After two weeks of camp, I took the day off yesterday. Throughout this year I have been learning a lot about the need to rest, relax and recharge. God created us to do good works, but our ability to do those works will be impaired if we never stop and breathe. God knows our need to rest, which is why he placed taking the Sabbath alongside not murdering anyone.
If God takes rest so seriously we should as well, especially after a particularly draining season. The reality is that we’re going to face seasons when we can’t take the Sabbath or find rest. In two weeks of camp I didn’t find a lot of time to rest and relax. When we face seasons like that, though, it’s important to make the time to breath and rest at their conclusion.
Even Captain Picard knew he needed to rest and he is an atheist. How much more should we recognize our need to breathe and rest, knowing that’s how our loving God created us?
What did you do the last time you just needed to breathe?