I’m back into the swing of things after taking a week off. It was refreshing! When I was a “manager” of people, I had a rule that they must take a minimum of 5 consecutive work days off in a row, Monday through Friday, so that they might be rejuvenated and ready to get back to work.
My rationale was pretty straight forward. If company is paying you to take time off, it, therefore, deserves something for that expenditure. A steady grind with no break wears people down. Time off is no different than regular maintenance on equipment. If you come back to work more tired than before you left, then I would say that the company was cheated on its investment.
Trust me, it takes a lot of coaching to educate people on this, but most understand this principle once they have actually tried it. By that, I mean taking time off to rest and rejuvenate, to maintain the equipment so that it is in good working order. I’m not talking about career advice alone, I’m talking about a lifestyle.
It’s all part of the idea of Sabbath Rest. God has given us such a wonderful gift in providing time to rest. It is something he wants us to do – for our own benefit. Vacations are part of it. Working all the time is simply a rejection of God’s will. So is a vacation that makes you need a vacation just to get back to work.
On my time off, I started reading a couple of books by Puritans, “All Things Made New” by John Flavel and “The Mortification of Sin” by John Owen. I’m greatly encouraged by these and will be writing about them as I get further along. If you aren’t familiar with this genre, I suggest you check out The Banner of Truth Trust, a publishing house that specializes in this type of literature.
In particular, John Owen’s book spent considerable time covering the need to daily practice spiritual tools in order to make continual progress in this Christian walk of ours. Routines such as bible lessons, meditation, prayer, and journaling all are part of what keeps us healthy. A weekly Sabbath Rest will tie all that together. Yes, Sabbath Rest is for the body as well as the spirit! Also, one is wise to take an extended time of to rest the body and renew the spirit as well.
But don’t wait for that vacation to practice these things. One week off won’t refresh you if you are worn out. After all, let us not forget that we aren’t simply answering to our employers who may pay us for time off. We are also answering to God, who has redeemed our souls. He’s our true employer.
2 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
As we look back on our lives, we start to see that these things make sense. Verses like Paul’s here might seem bossy, but they really aren’t. Submission is a good thing. It’s good for us. Our spirit agrees with it. While our bodies might be growing old, submission renews our spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Day by day. I’m re-learning an old lesson.
Father, I do enjoy these familiar lessons. Sometimes my attitude is wrong, and I do not appreciate them. Yet, you a so kind and merciful in your grace to always bring me back around to them. You do this because I matter to you. You care about me. You…actually love me, more that I know. Thank you. Amen.
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers