I am born and raised in Chicago and I really enjoy watching the Chicago Bears. I have watched some really ugly teams throughout my life but weekly I sit and invest a few hours into the Bears. This week though, was different. The Bears were on a bye. This meant I didn’t have to get as worked up as I have been this season, (they are currently at 3-5, not great).
A bye, for those who don’t dig sports, is when a team gets a week off. They don’t have to play against anyone. Some teams use the time to watch extra tape, some just use it to get away from football. With football being such a violent sport, injuries can accrue over 16 games and so each team takes a mandatory week off. Unlike most jobs, football players are forced to take a break. They are forced to rest and relax, and for teams like the Bears, evaluate where they are and where they want to be.
The concept of rest and taking a break isn’t one the NFL created. God told his people they should work for 6 days and then rest on the 7th. He modeled this in creation when he spent time creating the universe for six days (yup I said it, six days, feel free to leave a comment) and then rested on the 7th. God doesn’t need to rest. He is all-powerful. He doesn’t need the time off. What he was doing was showing us this is how we are to live. This is the best way to do life. Rest needs to be built in to our lives.
For most of us the idea of intentional rest, or a sabbath is a foreign concept. We believe that we can’t afford to stop working. Their is always something to be done, and with the addition of technology, actually shutting down for even a day seems near impossible. It only seems that way. You are making a regular choice to be busy. You are making a regular choice to let work consume you.
For a long time I worked at a job that consumed me. Even when I was home I wasn’t really home because my mind was constantly at work. I was checking my email and answering every phone call or text message. It would interrupt my sleep. It was not healthy. Eventually I had to make changes. I had to put the phone on silent when I got home. I didn’t even have it in the bedroom at night. I had to train myself that on my days off, I was OFF. It was a hard transition and one I didn’t do well at all the time. Eventually I ended up having to leave that position because it was consuming too much of my life. When work is never ending, something is wrong. God tells us over and over, that is not the best way to live.
One of my favorite verses is John 10:10 which tells us that God wants to give us an abundant life. No, this is not a health wealth thing. God wants you to live the best life you possibly can. In order for that to happen, the very person who created everything has given us a guidebook to help us live the best life we can. The Bible shows us how to do this the best way possible. Part of that life is being intentional with rest.
I’m not saying you need to sit on a couch and do absolutely nothing, (though that sounds like a good day to me.) And I’m not saying you can’t do “work” on a day that is set aside for rest like the Pharisees decided. I’m saying there should be a day that is set aside where you aren’t working and striving for your job. Let there be a day set aside to have fun. To dwell on things bigger than yourself. To play. To work in the yard. To build something. To enjoy your neighborhood. To do whatever it is that will help you to rest and get yourself ready for the upcoming week of work. If you let yourself just sit and just be, God is going to show you who he is. He will remind you that he is in control. And he will give you that rest that you need.
How do you find rest during the week? Leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter, use the hashtag #dropkickmonday