Following Jesus is an adventure in passion and energy. Every day we seek out others in need in order that we may demonstrate the love of Christ by serving them. It is often a thankless job, as we serve them when no one else is looking. We work tirelessly not only to complete our own tasks, but works of service for others as well. A person willing to serve freely quickly gains a reputation, and soon you are on the speed dial of numerous committee’s and organizations. This is why so many who start with good intentions burn out not long after they started. What’s the secret of living a life of burning passion without being consumed by the flames? The answer, as always, is found in Jesus.
Jesus was intimately involved in the creation of our world; the cycles of that creation offer ready clues as to how we should live our lives. Looking simply at the twenty-four hour cycle of each day, it becomes obvious that each day was created with a time to work and a time to rest. In our modern electrical society, the lines have been blurred and we no longer have such a clear separation between work and rest hours. Just because we can work twenty-four hours per day does not mean we were created to do so. We should work diligently while there is light, and rest when night falls. While we must occasionally make exceptions to this rule, we need to be careful that they are indeed exceptions and do not become the rule.
The six days of labor and one day of rest model that God demonstrated for us has been frequently discussed and analyzed. Still, it seems that six thousand years later (give or take), we still haven’t gotten the point. Work passionately for six days every week. Work at your vocation, work on chores around your residence, and work in service to your family and others. But when the remaining day of the week (traditionally Saturday or Sunday depending upon your perspective, beliefs or upbringing) rolls around, take that day off. Taking the day off does not mean that you save all your household tasks for this day. Taking the day off means a day without tasks. Go to church, spend time with your family and friends, read a (non work-related) book or watch a positive movie. Take a nap, take a drive, take a break! This is your recharging day. God said to work for six days and rest on the seventh. That’s good enough for me.
You have been created for both work and rest. They work hand in hand, and must be kept in balance if we are to maintain good health and vibrant energy. As ambassadors of the king, we must always be at our best. We are at our best when we are healthy and energetic. Follow God’s model of both work and rest. When we are operating our bodies in accordance with the way He designed us, we will find that we can accomplish more and feel better than we ever have before. Work diligently in service to others as you pursue a life that looks like Jesus. But don’t neglect to recharge your spirit with sleep and prayer. Don’t forget to rest.