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 2:2 NIV)
Do you know when to call it a day so that you can rest? There are two types of people in this world: the workers and the over-workers. Some people have the ability to forget about their workday and chill out when they get home. The workaholics don’t have the skill set for inactivity. They have their plates full and keep piling more on. This is especially true for those who care for others. Caretakers often neglect to see that they need care too.
Our bodies are made from the same physical substances that make up the earth, and everything of the earth deteriorates. In Psalm 90:10 God tells us that we have been given 70 years of life (anything over that is icing on the cake). However, when we don’t take care of ourselves those 70 years may be needlessly shortened by the choices we make.
It’s unfortunate that we seem to understand the mechanics of our cars better than the mechanism of our own bodies. It’s common knowledge that a car needs regular maintenance to continue running efficiently. Yet, how many of us know how to read the signs from our own bodies that signal trouble? We all know that a car needs fuel to keep on going. How many times do we run out of gas because we don’t make the needed pit stop?
There are limitations to what we can continue to do without taking a break. Energy is the gas that keeps our bodies running; energy it expended by everything we do. Strenuous physical exercise makes a large withdrawal from our energy resources. Increased physical energy requires additional food, and additional rest, in order to keep us in good health. Growth of cells occurs when our bodies are at rest, and clear thinking depends on the energy available to our minds. It is more difficult to withstand strain and to resist communicable disease and infections when our bodies are exhausted. Rest deposits energy that’s been withdrawn.
Rest and relaxation are just as important as sleep. Relaxation comes in different forms for different people. Any pleasurable activity that is a change of pace from the usual routine helps the body shed tension and remain energized. If you are the type of person who feels guilty about taking time for yourself let me ask you a question. How can you help anyone when you are too exhausted to form a coherent sentence? When the disciples hadn’t taken the time to eat because the crowds had demanded all their attention, Christ told them to go and rest. That is wise advice for us all.
Learn to find balance in everything you do. In your worship, work, play, and rest-balance is the key. Find out what is expected of you and do it to the best of your ability. Then take it easy. Take care of yourself or your body will give out before its intended time. Our loved ones want to have us around as long as they can. We owe it to the people who depend on us to be kind to ourselves. Let’s learn to read the signals so that we know when its time to call it a day. Rest the body. Relax the mind. The bible tells us that Christ is willing to carry the burdens when we are weary. Maybe we should let him do it.
God rested. Why don’t we follow His example and back off for a while. It will do us all a world of good.