As part of our Lifeshapes course at church last weeks shape was the semi-circle, representing a swinging pendulum between rest and work. It’s a subject that seems to hit home with so many people in our busy society. How have we got to a point where people are practically boasting about the number of hours they work? How have we got so far from the time when people actually kept Sundays for church and family? How have we got to this place where large numbers of people are regularly suffering from stress at work, or from overwork? How do we have families where fathers only see their kids at weekends because they leave the house for work before sunrise and get back after they are in bed? What is it that drives us to this extreme?
Is it greed? love of money? Is it because more is expected of us? Or because the cost of living has gone up? My husband has a pretty good job, he is good at his job and we are very blessed, but he is not obsessed with work. And yet even he rarely takes a lunchbreak, he has coffee at his desk, will feel guilty if he has to leave early and so on… And he is just on the edge of it. There are those who work 14 hour days, every day, don’t take holidays, or if they do take blackberrys and laptops with them.. and just keep going…
I love that Lifeshapes reminds us that in Genesis when God creates man he does so on the sixth day. So what do they do first of all? They rest! – the seventh day is a rest day. So for Adam and Eve the first full day they have on earth they spend resting. That’s BEFORE they do any work. And God does have work for them, he created them to work in and look after the garden. (And that’s whether you take Genesis literally or metaphorcially, it’s still clearly showing rest before work..!)
So why do we find it so hard to take a break? I am so guilty of this, hey I even made myself ill because I was working too hard. For me I think it was the belief that I had to do everything, that things had to carry on, that I couldn’t take a break even when I needed to. I am learning to work from my rest and not rest from my work. But it’s not easy, it doesn’t come naturally to me!
So with that in mind, we are off for a few days break, hopefully resting! As blogger is still up the spout I cannot schedule posts for while I am away, but that’s kind of nice, as I can’t put pressure on myself to get a load done before I go. So I hope you all have a wonderfully restful weekend (we shall be on a boat where the speed limit is 4mph!!) and I will be back to writing next week…
StJune 2, 2011 at 11:18 am
It took me several goes to get the comments box to appear. I'm having issues with signing in too. Annoying when something that has worked fine for years goes odd cf Internet Exporer 9, Google mail accounts and my upstairs lavatory cistern.
Nancy WallaceJune 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm
Enjoy your break!
AnitaJune 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm
To work from your rest. What a brilliant concept.
As is the idea that Adam and Eve spent their first day on earth resting.
Resting is both wonderful and hard, isn't it? We've got so conditioned to activity and achievement.
We're just back from a break–and it's great for relationships!