I once told a fellow worker who had pulled multiple overnight shifts and was around during the day as well that he should get some rest. He answered, “I’ll get plenty of rest after I’m dead.” I am sure he will. Resting is important. I am not only speaking of sleeping, but also of just having some down time to relax, recharge and to distract oneself from the daily grind. Maybe even spend some time enjoying your favorite activity, praying or meditating.
I am not speaking about laziness, yet many people seem to equate resting with laziness. Rest is important after working hard to refresh the body. Working hard without resting for a long time can lead to exhaustion and open the door for injuries and disease by lowering your alertness and diminishing your immune system.
I had spent nearly two weeks being busy from 5:15am until 11pm each day. I felt exhausted. My girlfriend was busy as well. When I suggested that we merely rest during the weekend, she became immediately uncomfortable. She felt that any time not spent doing something productive meant that the time was wasted. I assured her that she deserved a rest. Even God rested.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. – Gen 2:2 NIV
Ever the planner, my girlfriend asks “What is on the agenda today?” I am not a planner. I just go with the flow. I get things done when I can unless there is a previously established deadline. I believe this annoys her greatly. However, she is often disappointed when her plans don’t work out and I usually don’t feel that way. Even when my plans don’t work out, there are usually other times and other opportunities.
Resting is also important for one’s mood and even outlook on life. It is so easy to get burned out. Without adequate rest, you can have difficulty concentrating and remembering things. That is why we have vacations so that we can get away from the everyday work and renew ourselves. Like many, I think I get more exhausted from my vacations. Maybe I try to do too much. People who get too little sleep or too little rest can be grumpy, be irritable, and make improper judgments. Have you ever been working on a problem and it seems impossible but after you walk away from it for a short while, there seems to magically appear some solutions that you were sure weren’t there 30 minutes ago? I have.
So work hard, work towards your goals and dreams, but don’t forget to take some time out to recharge. Connect with God, your loved ones and yourself. Your body and soul need rest. Don’t feel guilty taking a rest after working hard. Don’t spend so much time living your life that you forget to live it. Take a break and smell the flowers. Take a leisurely walk and remind yourself of the beauty and awe that God has created in the world. I am glad you’re in the world. You are a precious creation.
Take care of yourself, be well and stay safe. God bless.