The Bible Stresses the Importance of Rest…So Why is it So Difficult?
Recently, I took a week off from work to rest up after a wild month. It was nice to take the chance to rest, even if rest seems challenging these days.
“When I rest, I rust.” The late Scatman Crothers delivered that line in the “Kick the Can” segment of The Twilight Zone: The Movie.
That was in the 1980s. Now, finding time to unplug and recharge seems even more impossible. We’re over-connected these days, constantly tethered to one screen or another. We live in a world where we’re told to drive and drive harder to meet goals.
So for some of us, even when we know the importance of rest, we still feel like we’re being slack.
The rest felt good.
It was the first time I took off a full week — Monday through Friday and the weekends before and after — and went absolutely nowhere. I stayed at home (other the occasional errand here or there). I didn’t go sight-seeing. I didn’t make a daytrip to some neighboring area.
I just stayed home and tried, as much as possible, to relax.
It was amazing.
And yet I still felt a little guilty about not being productive.
That, I guess, is just how we’re conditioned.
The Bible says rest is important.
The story of creation takes place over a seven-day period. What’s odd about that is that it took God six days to create the universe and everything in it, according to the book of Genesis.
So why do we focus on a seven-day story?
The seventh day — the Sabbath — is a day of rest. The writers of the Bible felt it was important enough to include the period of rest in the actual story. They could have just talked about a six-day story.
“And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.” — Genesis 2:3
The week as we know it could just as easily have been a six-day interval.
But the seventh day of rest was built-in because it was recognized as important.
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.” — Exodus 20:8-10
I stumbled across a devotional on the subject of rest. This one happens to be of Jewish origin. The Jewish faith specifies Saturday as the Sabbath while Christians view Sunday as the Sabbath, something I’ve never quite understood since Christians insist that Sunday is the first day of the week, not the last.
But this article, found on First Fruits of Zion, suggests we remember the Sabbath by preparing for it. If, for instance, we find a nice food or drink, we should hold it for the Sabbath.
Essentially, preparing for our day of rest is something we should be doing on all of the previous six days leading up to it.
In other words, you don’t just take off the seventh day; you plan out how you’re going to take that rest all week long.
That kind of commitment might seem a bit overboard. But on the other hand, I can’t imagine putting that kind of effort into planning something and then not following through with it.
Maybe what we should be doing for our Sabbath is exactly what we should be doing in our everyday life.
We need to make sure we’re making it a priority…and plan as though it always is.