Work hard and do an honest day’s work were two axioms my husband and I lived by.
We were generally one of the first people to work each morning, and one of the last to leave. We went to work even when we were feeling unwell and would persevere throughout an illness.
We always invested ourselves in every project, lesson plan, or preparation for a meeting.
It never occurred to us to take a day off from work.
And so we marched through life with our work boots on.
This is how we were raised. And how both our fathers role modelled work ethic.
But we neglected one very important thing. We did not always balance work, with periods of rest.
While we are all called to labor conscientiously and diligently, we are also called to periods of rest or sabbath. Work and rest are equally important.
God role modeled balance when He, “… blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating he had done.” (Genesis 2:3)
He also explicitly commanded, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh days is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in the six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventy day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-11)
Making it pretty clear that while we are called to put in honest days of work, they are to be offset with honest days of rest.
Sabbath and rest, was to be a sign or symbol that set apart the people of God. (Leviticus 21:3; Ezekiel 20:12-24)
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9)
If it were possible to go back and have a do-over, we would do it much differently. We would still work hard. For there is a pleasure to be found in a good day’s work. But we would definitely seek the better balance.
We would delight in taking rest, as much as we delighted in labouring well.
We would honour the call to rest. And drink deeply of the refreshment it offers.
Understanding that there is as much goodness, and holiness in rest, as there is in a good day of honest labor.
For an index of all my posts in the series, please click here.
Photo Credits: Pawel Janiak and David Lezcan, from Unsplash