For in six days the LORD made heaven
and earth, the sea, and all that is in them,
and rested on the seventh day.
Rest—essential to a healthy life! Relaxation, inactivity, break, ease, respite, recess, time-out, downtime all are words we use to indicate that we are taking a break from the hopping, popping, bustling schedule of life.
I am not talking about a vacation—a trade of one form of busyness for another. Be honest! How many times have you returned home totally rested after a vacation? I am talking about taking a day off to do nothing. I can hear you gasping for air. I feel your pulse racing and sense the rise of your blood pressure.
Jesus recommended rest to His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) After much “doing” and “teaching,” they needed to rest not only their bodies but their spirits.
For most of us, it seems difficult to find a desolate place to draw away from the world. With cell phones, IPods, computers and GPS we are never hidden from those who want to interrupt our rest to meet their needs. But without rest we often become wide-eyed brain-dead zombies just trying to get through another day before we collapse for the evening.
Rest often brings renewed energy and excitement needed to complete the tasks ahead. Jesus and His disciples had to get on a boat, leave the shoreline and head to a desolate place to rest. Even then others saw them and made their way ahead of the boat to the intended place of rest. But I have to believe that the time spent with Jesus on the boat was a time of refreshing and rest from their daily work.
Why not give it a try—that day of rest. Turn off the cell phone, find a desolate place, grab your fishing pole or a good book and kick back away from the stresses of your daily responsibilities. Feel your muscles relax as your breathing slows and before long you may even find yourself enjoying the quiet.
Follow the plan of the One who created heaven and earth. He took a break. Follow the advice of the Son of God who ministered to a needy world. He took a break. Follow your heart and listen to your body speak and give yourself a break!