Tuesday, December 01, 2020

What is the point of resting?

All pictures used by permission of Unsplash

I would like to share some thoughts on resting with you today.

“There just are not enough hours in the day” would suggest that maybe you are not managing time effectively or that your ‘things to do’ list is too ambitious. There is  nothing wrong with aspirational targets, so says the school teacher!

To have a break or rest is so very vital to our well being and health; that is physical health, emotional health and mental health. These seem to be a very real issue for all kinds of people these days and from all age backgrounds.
Let’s face it, there is nothing better than looking forward to a long deserved holiday. It is very much a break from normal life and day-to-day stresses. If it is a long weekend, a 4 day 3 night break, a week, 10 days, a fortnight, 3 weeks, a month or more, it is a well earned opportunity to laze by a pool, sunbathe on a beach, visit places of interest and relax.

Having  a break or rest from normal stress-related activities may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Yes, work can sometimes be stressful but it is how we deal with that stress which is key. If you have a sit-down job, be careful to move about regularly to avoid health issues linked with obesity or heart disease.

Adequate sleep and exercise, coupled with a healthy, balanced diet will boost your immune system.

Having a rest will allow you to do things that you want to do. It is ME time. You can do something creative, go for a walk with friends, play a board game, go for a coffee with an old school friend or neighbour…the sky’s the limit!

Studies have shown that people who do not know how to detach from work during their time off experience increased exhaustion over the course of one year and are less resilient in the face of stressful work conditions.

It’s also a proven fact that working more hours means less productivity. Germany and France are the most productive countries with each mandating more than 30 days of vacation annually.
A study by the University of Illinois shows that all work and no play dramatically reduces focus as well as productivity. Regular rest and time off actually improves it.

So, where does the Bible fit into all of this I hear you ask? I’m just going to offer some quotes that show quite clearly that rest and time out are very much needed for a well balanced work-rest lifestyle.

Take the Creation story from the very start of the Bible. After a busy 6 days of creating, we read: “Thus the heavens and the earth...were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work...and He rested on the seventh day from all His work...Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Sunday was God’s day off. It was a precedent for us. It also features in one of the 10 commandments, of course: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work…”

Before I close, some words from the New Testament which show what Jesus felt about resting: “Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”

Work is important but so, too, is rest. Well, I guess it’s break over. But, before you carry on with the busy-ness of another day or evening, can I encourage you to always plan enough rest breaks in your day to recharge the batteries and keep as stress-free as possible.

Used by permission of Your542Day. Written by Nigel Binding for Messages with Meaning (27/11/20)


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