Summary: In a world filled with what seems like never ending activity we as a culture maybe need to take time and slow down and rest more so than previous cultures.
Remember to Rest
I realize that I am surrounded by a church full of busy people. Not just busy for busyness sake but productive, highly active people who like to accomplish a lot and often. In fact every time I drive down the road to church I am confronted by your hard work since the fields all around us testify to it.
It is not just the fields that speak to me about your hard work but I also see your children and grand children as they race through the entrance and give me a high five or a hello. I know that it has taken a Herculean effort just to get them dressed, feed, loaded up in the car and off to church. I also know that that is true for every day of the week for those of you who have the privilege of caring for them. Children require a lot of effort weather your parenting or baby sitting them.
Many of you also take care of loved ones who are elderly or infirmed who rely on your time and effort to visit and care for them on top of all your daily activities.
Our families take time and effort to make them work our jobs demand time and effort from us to meet a minimum standard for our employers expectations. Our spiritual lives also require a certain amount of maintenance and effort to keep them in tune. On top of all this we add personal interests, hobbies, sports, friends, community work, church work, and personal fitness. In a world filled with what seems like never ending activity we as a culture maybe need to take time and slow down and rest more so than previous cultures.
This weekend is a great example. It is a long holiday weekend which the government of the land has instituted. Even the government realizes we need a day off now and then and even they take seasonal breaks from the work of governing. Parliament closes down for a summer and winter break. I know some of us would like to see it stay closed but we still need people in government.
The point is that we were designed to work and rest. Our God, our creator took time to rest and this fact is recorded early in our bibles in the Genesis account.
Genesis 2:2 NIV
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
Genesis 2:3 NIV
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Now I realize that God got a lot more done in six days than we could ever hope to. Yet I am sure there is a mother out there who would still like to accomplish a list just as long. You see God knows the place and importance of giving yourself rest. There are a lot of reasons why it make sense.
Firstly it says that you have completed what you set out to do. Secondly it gives you an opportunity to review or consider what it is you have completed. Thirdly it gives your mind and body a chance to recover from the effort of what you have done.
Isaiah 40:29 NIV
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
If we look to our bible we can see time and time again when men and women took rest after periods of great activity. Sometimes it was rest after a long hard days work or rest after planting crops or rest after putting up a building or rest after completing a task assigned by God.
Remember the Egyptians working the Hebrew people into the ground for seven days a week. It took Moses sent from God to convince the Pharaoh to give the people a day of rest. This was not Moses idea it was Gods instruction. Even once they got away from Egypt Moses made sure they kept the Sabbath.
8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
I realize that today we live in a secular society that does not honor Gods commandments and in fact like the Egyptians society demands we work on Sunday or the Sabbath yet we still need to set apart a day for the Lord since He has commanded us to. We would love to just stop on Sundays but the law of the land no longer allows us to. We find ourselves in a kind of bondage that was once broken but now holds us again.