Rest is one of the most coveted and seemingly unattainable uses of our time. Because of the pervasiveness of technology, today it requires real dedication and discipline to reserve a true day of rest. And by day of rest, I mean absolutely no work – no phone calls, no emails, no reading work-related journals and no quick check-in with the office. Based on this definition, I bet there are some of you that have never experienced a true day of rest.
“By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all his work… Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work…” (Exodus 20:8-9)
Remember, you are “omni-nothing.” You are a limited resource, and like the rest of creation, you need rest. You will be healthier and more productive the following six days so don’t feel guilty for protecting your Rest Time. Even Jesus did so. In Mark 1:35, after one of the busiest days of Jesus’ life, caring for people, healing people, and with the “whole city” gathered wanting one more miracle from Him (Mark 1:35), He slipped away by Himself. He got alone, connected with His Father and prayed. He didn’t try to keep up the hectic pace. He knew it was time to clock out. If Jesus, as the Son of God, needed time alone with His Father to refocus and refresh His spirit, how much more must you need the same!
In some faiths, this day of rest begins at sundown on Friday. Others emphasize Saturday as the original Sabbath, while most Christians use Sunday as their day for rest and worship. If you are a pastor, Sunday is most certainly not your day of rest, so choose a different one. For many years, Monday was my day off of work, although I recently switched it to Friday so it would be the same day as the rest of my staff. My concern is not exactly when you do it, but that you do it!
So what does a day of rest actually look like? I have told you what not to do, so what do you do during Rest Time? This will vary from person to person, but the goal of your activities should be to refresh and enrich your spiritual life, marriage, family and health. For me, I like to start the day with coffee and breakfast with my wife. Then we bike ride at the beach, take a walk, enjoy sunset, go see a new movie or attend my grandson’s little league game. I try to keep the activities fun and centered around my wife and family because this re-energizes me.
Also, find ways to limit unintended work-related distractions. For some this means turning your phone off completely or turning off notifications and alerts. For example, did you know that you can set your iPhone to “Do Not Disturb?” This will put all calls directly to voicemail except for calls from certain numbers, which you pre-select. I recommend allowing calls from your wife and kids to still come through. Follow the link below to read how to enable this setting:
I’m an apple user, but I bet there is a similar setting on android phones too.
Leave a comment below and share some of your favorite “Rest Time” activities and tricks you use to limit work-related distractions.