I’m thinking about rest because my wife and I are enjoying a week of vacation. I’m no expert on relaxing, but I am a willing apprentice. My work ethic stems naturally from an oil refinery boilermaker father and industrious mother. Both parents gave their best, saved what they could, and forged a safe place from which a son and daughter could try their wings. Life was framed by how one worked, but one thing Henry and Lois insisted upon was family vacation every summer, and to take it easy on Sunday’s. Without digging deep into the why of it, they went with the instinct that great effort can only be sustained if punctuated with a little down time.
Our Creator established the pattern of hard work and consistent rest, knowing that without periodic relaxation, stress takes its toll, leaving life ragged and in danger of unraveling. Take a deep breath. Hold it. Now, release it, slowly. Sometimes stress relief comes from intentional inactivity. Retreat. Renew. Refresh. At other times, intrepid action is required. Allow no bitter root to take hold of your heart. Resolve disputes. Apologize for hurt. Repair broken relationships. Restore what’s been taken or lost. Retreat from distraction, no matter how hard you have to work to get away. Rest is not for the faint of heart, but it does the heart more good than any medicine.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3 KJV)