Most of us are pretty bad at resting. I’m the first to admit to this!
But we let this continue at our peril. Somehow we’ve idolised the lifestyle that keeps going flat out and fills all the gaps. But this is unhealthy and unbiblical.
God put appropriate rest in His Top 10 (the Commandments) and it is listed in the creation account for a very good reason – to give us an example to follow.
The Sabbath principle is about the importance of rhythm. It is about not just resting when things are completed, but managing ourselves well so we don’t get depleted. It is about downing tools before we absolutely have to, so that we keep our edge and are in good shape for all that awaits.
Life is meant to happen in rhythm – our hearts and brains have a rhythm, our breathing has a rhythm, creation has a rhythm in seasons, and our bodies respond to rhythm in things like exercise and rest.
The challenge is, there is always more to do. But that is the answer too – there is always more, so choose when you will stop to rest or you never will find the right time. And it is easier to justify to ourselves and more productive is this happens as a result of a rhythm instead of a collapse or complete exhaustion. Stop before you have to!
Wayne Muller writes in A life of Being, Having and Doing Enough, “We have forgotten what enough feels like. We live in a world seduced by its own unlimited potential.”
Our significance is not tied up in our productivity – our value is intrinsic as sons and daughters of God. So it is not just about how many hours you can put in – God did quite OK for Himself before you came along!
Of course we are not talking about slacking off here – just choosing wisely and managing ourselves well for greater impact over the long haul.
Take a moment right now to do a quick audit/stocktake of your life and see if you are pushing the boundaries and eroding the margins. If so (very likely) what is one thing you could decide right now to take a step in the right direction?