Last week, we talked about how a proper view of work leads to living a healthy and balanced life. Work is a great thing, but there also needs to be a time where we can shut it off and rest. So now that we understand the blessing of work, we also need to value the beauty of rest. I love sleep, and I love to rest. If I worked hard during my set aside working hours, I have no problem resting. I’m actually really good at it. I LOVE to rest. I have no problem with leaving dishes in the sink and clothes on the floor in the name of rest. I like to remind myself to rest and if I could tattoo it on my body, I would. Want to watch a show? Sit and eat some fries? Drink some coffee and just sit? YES. Watch me rest. This is me RESTING. I fall on the more liberal side of rest, and I will confess that my view is not healthy either! Yes, sometimes the dishes (or other unfinished work) can wait. But we need to ask, what is it waiting for? Is it waiting because my child wants to talk or play with me? Is it waiting because my spouse just got home and wants to talk about the day or simply spend time with me? Is it waiting because physically I am burning out and truly cannot do one more thing? Or is it waiting because this has become a habit formed out of lack of discipline. There is a difference.
Then there is the other side. You struggle to rest. Our bodies were not created to go all of the time. There are 24 hours in a day for a reason. There is day and night for a reason. If you think that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, chances are, you are doing too much. If you are staying up late into the night working, chances are, you are doing too much. If you are so exhausted from work that you have no time to nurture the relationships in your life, chances are, you are doing too much. You need to look at how you are spending your time and ask yourself what you can cut out. If we live a life that honors and acknowledges the limits and correct functions of our mortal minds and bodies, then we will have more energy to give to our work when it is necessary, we will see our relationships will mature and grow, and we will become a more overall healthy person. We were never meant to be all work or all rest. It’s both, not an either/or. Both are equally important.
So what does it look like to rest? I think this is different for everyone. There is nothing that energizes me more than going a run outside, by myself. I also like to read. To sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the Bible is life giving to me. So I ask, what is it that doesn’t drain you, but gives you life? Some suggestions! Unplug from all the technology and get outside! Read a book. Exercise. Go on a bike ride with your kids or a friend. Get coffee with a friend. Bake a cake. Paint. Just sit and breathe in fresh air. Find something that you love to do just because, and do it! Do it every day, and you’ll find that not only will productivity in your work life increase, but your relationships will grow and you will feel like you have more to give.