Taking Time to Rest

Yesterday I wrote about working hard and doing whatever it takes to be successful. Today I want to flip that over and encourage you to rest. Here in the United States, we are at the beginning of Labor Day weekend. For several people that will mean they have next Monday off from work. This will give us a more extended weekend and additional time to rest.

The temptation for many people will be to fill this weekend with more activity. They will head to the lake or a park so that they can spend their day hiking, fishing, picnicking and a host of other activities. They will cram every hour to its maximum limit and end the weekend exhausted.

I find it fascinating that one of the ten commandments is to have a Sabbath day of rest. The purpose of this day was two-fold. One, it was to keep people focused on God above our work. The people had to trust that God would provide enough in six days to last for seven. The people ceased to work as an act of faith. The day was holy or set apart for God to recognize his power in the world and our lives.

The other reason God gave us a Sabbath was to rest. This is modeled by God himself in the creation story. He works for six days and rests on the seventh. Every worker, including God, needs downtime. The story is told of a pastor who worked seven days a week with little rest. A wiser older pastor asked him why he never took a day off. He responded by saying, “Satan never takes a day off, and so neither do I.” The older pastor smiled and said, “Son, you need a better role model.”

All of us need rest and a time to refocus on God. If you get an extended weekend over the next few days, have you built these essential elements into your plan?

Maybe your greatest need is not to push more activities into your weekend, but rather to rest safely in the arms in God.

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