Business responsibilities. Most of us have them. Rarely do we get away from them.
And most times, they’re what cause us more frustration and stress than we care to admit. Yet, we keep on doing those same things, refusing to rearrange our schedules to include time for rest.
I admit, I’m guilty. I fall into the same eat-on-the-run-don’t-have-time-for-fun trap. Some days I’m exhausted by 7:00 p.m. I don’t make time to read emails, paint my nails, catch up with friends, or spend time with the Lord. But God told us in Hebrews we are to rest:
~Hebrews 4:9-11 NIV
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
I once had an experience that opened my eyes to my need to heed the call to rest. My daughter and I were in the kitchen prepping for our day. She was eating her breakfast while I prepared my dog’s breakfast. It takes a good half hour to peel, slice, dice, chop, mash, and warm their food. Meanwhile, we were discussing several topics, so I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. My dog’s whining reminded me I needed to finish his meal. I continued my conversation with my daughter. She wanted to show me something, so I stepped away from the bowls with my dog’s pill in hand.
Upon returning, I picked up my water bottle and without a thought, swallowed my dog’s pill. I immediately realized what I had done! My eyes widened, I started coughing, and I yelled for my daughter. All sorts of thoughts ran through my mind. Should I go to urgent care? The hospital? The vet? I paced back and forth, talking a mile a minute. My daughter told me to calm down and look at the ingredients of the pill. Looking at the bottle, I burst out laughing. Quercetin! Hugging my daughter, I thanked God I hadn’t ingested something that would make me sick or worse.
After a day or two of howling jokes and fire hydrant detours, the laughter died down. Although funny, it could have turned disastrous. Because I had been overly busy, I hadn’t paid attention. I thought about what could have happened. Someone could have gotten hurt. I knew I needed to slow down and heed God’s biblical commandment to spend time with Him and time resting.
Friend, do you need to rest too? There’s nothing wrong with hard work and wanting to get our to-do list done. But there is something wrong when business causes us to make careless mistakes. God included the commandment to rest in His Word for a purpose. We need to refresh ourselves, spend time with our families, and most importantly, spend time with Him. Love for God and others is important. Business can rob us of that if it’s all we do.
The next time you find yourself running from place to place, from project to project, or from meeting to meeting, remember to check your Day-Timer to see if you have scheduled rest times. Ask if you have time for self-care? Is this taking a toll on my family? Is it taking me away from God? If your answer is “yes,” you need to seek God’s rest.
The Lord shows us the benefits of rest in the Gospel of Matthew:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”~Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30 TMB
Friend, we are all busy. And there is nothing wrong with being busy if we stop from time to time to remember there are other important things, including self-care, family, and God-time. Rest gives us focus. It renews our energy, brings us closer to others, and strengthens our relationship with God.
Remember that email you put on the back burner or the text you ignored? The person on the other end of that communication may be missing you. Even God misses us when we don’t spend time with Him.
Incorporate rest into your schedule. You’ll be glad you did.
How does incorporating rest into your schedule help you to work efficiently?
Father God, I admit there are times that I don’t take the time for things that matter besides my business responsibilities. Remind me by Your Spirit to refocus. Help me schedule time for restful activities such as self-care, family, and quality time with You.
In Jesus’ name, amen
Copyright 2022: Lessons on Rest: Sandra Stein: All Rights Reserved