Have you found the work-rest balance? According to the Washington Post, the likely answer is “No.” A 2014 gallop poll showed the average American working almost 47 hours a week with 50% working even longer! It’s pretty obvious that as a nation we’re struggling to find the balance between work and rest. After all, “work” and being “busy” have become a part of our identity. It’s no surprise our workaholic attitude has begun to negatively impact our health and relationships.
Work is necessary, but the key is finding balance. In fact, if we are putting more value and more focus on our work than anything else (including our relationship with God) – work has become an idol. That’s not only unhealthy, but it is sinful.
God knew that we would struggle with this balance so He created the Sabbath. The Sabbath simply means rest. It means to step back from your regular routine and your work schedule for a 24-hour period of time – pure, guilt free rest. The concept of a day of rest goes all the way back to the beginning. After 6 days of creating, God set the example – He rested. It wasn’t because God was tired, but because He had completed a great work.
Think about how you feel after finishing a large project. That’s what God was feeling at that moment. The Sabbath is a time to rest, to be refreshed and renewed. By pausing from our busy lives, we can reflect on all God is doing and the opportunities He has provided. Resting enables us to go back to work more productive than when we left.
If you are struggling with finding a work-rest balance, you’re not alone. Start by choosing one day this week to step back. Close the laptop, turn off email and yes, even your phone, and do whatever recharges you. Finding your work- rest balance won’t happen overnight, but it can start by intentionally slowing down, stepping back and following God’s example to rest.