The Importance of Rest - Summer edition

Maybe you relate to the vast majority of Americans who take too few days off of work, and feel guilty for taking vacation.  If you have not been taking a Sabbath Day off ( a day of rest each week ) the summer is a great time to catch up.

Decide to take a few days off of work so that you can honor the Lord, by resting from work an appropriate amount.  That ability to excuse yourself from needing any rest is risky.  Along with lack of proper regular rest, you can face burnout.  This will not honor God, will lead to health problems, and even make your work less productive when you are there.

A day of rest does not have to be expensive.  Nor does it have to be staying at home.  If you are stuck in a chair doing accounting or programming or evaluating numbers, your day of rest might be getting out and getting active.  For someone who thinks of rest as an expensive vacation, perhaps if that's you, you can try a stay cation that is less of a burden.

Taking rest is part of Creation's plan.  In Genesis 2 we see God model this, so that we know its value, after six days of Creation.  That predates the Law of Israel, and sets a pattern in general, not just for a time and place.

In the Law of Moses, you have it reaffirmed, in Exodus 20:10, having a day set aside to stop from your work, to rest, is critical to a nation's health.  Exodus 23:12 arrives at the same point.
From the Apostle Paul we know that one person in New Testament times, may regard one day as a Sabbath day, and another, still another.  Romans 14:5.  Examples might be what?  Here's a few:  If you say, were a Pastor, or Worship Director, then Sundays are the opposite of taking a day off.  Good (yes, qualifier) sermon work, praying with people, leading others, answering questions, and reasoning with others, and visits, is quite a bit of work.  You would need to use another day, not your Sunday, as your Sabbath day.  The same if you were say an ER nurse, tech, doctor, or policeman, who had to rotate shifts.  If you work a Sunday at the ER or on duty, then you need another day off.  Don't try to overdo it or excuse yourself from this valuable tool in your week from God.

That the Sabbath has value, but of course is not to be misused, is clear from Mark 2:27 when Jesus is speaking to it.

We also know that Jesus and the disciples at times had to get away.  They would go to a solitary place.  Mark 6, et al.  It is wisdom to not always be engaged, but to have some time to unplug as well.

And even in the busyness of your normal schedules, there is a time to take a break too, as we see hints of in places like John 4:6.

Also, as you do rest, God is blessing you even in that, Psalm 3:5.  That may mean sleeping in on a day off or taking it easy.

So what is your next step for taking dutiful rest in your life?  This summer consider how you might build proper rest also into a busy routine.

God bless.


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