Earlier this spring I was in a bit of a hurry to fit my daily walk into my schedule, so I tried to run a bit. I only made it past a couple of mailboxes. Each time I went a little further. Today I run intervals, maybe half a mile at a time, and I actually love it. I love the burst of speed (ok, maybe speed isn’t the right word), then the quick recovery.
I’ve been thinking. Life is like that too – at least, it should be. We cannot run at full speed all day, every day and expect excellent results every time. I know, I know. Some people think they can. Some people think they “thrive on pressure” or “produce best when they’re busy” or “only need 4 hours of sleep.” Maybe that’s true for a short season, but not for a month. Not for a year. Certainly not for a lifetime. It’s just not true. Our bodies weren’t made for it.
In recent years, what seems like a gazillion American writers have tackled this topic in both long and short formats, which tells me something important: we are a nation of too much. Everyone is commuting too much, talking too much, working too much, emailing too much, texting too much, and conferencing too much. We are moving, moving, moving and producing, producing, producing at a ridiculously breakneck pace.
And the few who have the means and opportunity to take vacations often do so in extravagant, indulgent ways, ranging from excess food and alcohol intake to slothful Netflix and Hulu binging.
Is this what we were made for?
I don’t think so. I think there’s a better way, and so does Jesus.
Whoa, Meredith, that’s pretty cavalier of you.
Rest and work. Work and rest. It’s a rhythm we notice in the New Testament with Jesus and his disciples. Here are just two of the plentiful examples, emphasis mine:
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – calling them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” Mark 3: 13-15
“When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves…” Luke 9: 10
We could learn something from their example. I really believe keeping Sabbath isn’t just a rule to follow. Each of God’s commandments to the Israelites was for their own good, and I know they are still for our good today. Why? Because I’ve lived both ways, and I know which way is better. When I take time to rest and to commune with my Savior, everybody wins. My family, my students, my friends, myself.
What about you? Do you take time to rest? If so, how? Feel free to tell us your tips and tricks in the comments or on Facebook.
These examples of resting and doing from the Gospels were noted here by Sheridan Voysey.