We live in a fast-paced world where packed schedules are the new normal, and we have the unfortunate tendency to judge a person’s worth based on the busyness of his or her life. The worst part is that this isn’t just true for adults, but for our children as well.
We may say that we don’t like it, but what are we doing to stop it?
Take a look at your calendar. How full is it? Are you overbooking yourself or your family? Is it filled with things that bring meaning to your life, or is it draining your time, energy and finances? Are your daily activities truly worthwhile, or are they pulling you away from the things you value and love the most?
This is the dark side of busyness. We think that all of these extra-curricular activities add value to our lives, but in reality, they often cause stress, tension and burnout.
Genesis 2:2-3 (New Living Translation) says, “On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.”
Even God, the Creator of the world, knows the importance of rest. That is why, in Exodus 20:8-10, He gave us the fourth commandment: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work.”
If God emphasizes the importance of a day of rest for His people, why do we have such a difficult time obeying this commandment? It was out of His great love for us that He instructed us to rest. He knows the work will always be there and that our body, mind and spirit need time to refresh and recharge.
So, what can we do to make rest a priority in our lives? Here are three things to help you stay on track:
1. Set one day a week for a Sabbath rest. This would ideally be Sunday (the seventh day of the week, as God instructed). However, if that is not possible for you, pick one day out of the week for your “Holy Rest” and stick to it. This day should look different than any other day out of your week. Make it a day of worship, family time and peace, and be thankful that God has ordained a day of rest for you.
2. Make your personal relationship with God and your family a priority. Reexamine your values, and take an inventory of all the extra activities that fill your time. If they are robbing you of the ability to spend time with God and your family, something has to go. Make sure you schedule nonnegotiable times for family bonding, relaxation and prayer.
3. Unplug. Put your phone down and turn off the television. Get outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take a walk with your spouse. Visit a park with your kids. Take time to find refreshment in nature. You will be amazed what you experience when you take in the world with all of your senses.
Don’t mistake busyness for productivity, and don’t let it rob you of precious time. Once a minute has passed, you can never get it back. Let’s make an effort to get back to the simple life and enjoy the time the Lord has blessed us with.