Did you feel guilty the last time you actually took a day off?
Tell me if this sounds familiar to you: you work your butt off, kick your feet up on the weekend, and still feel lazy? Do you ever feel guilty while you’re resting, almost like you should be doing something productive?
You could work 50 or 60 hours a week, and still feel like you don’t “deserve” your rest. If you haven’t been working hard, then you don’t need rest; what you need to do is work. If you have worked hard, then rest isn’t just an option; rest is a necessity.
It’s hard for me to take a day off and simply rest. I feel like I have to be constantly doing something, even if it’s not work. For the past (almost) two years, I’ve worked my butt off to build a business. It’s not uncommon for me to work hard Monday through Friday and then do house projects or other “non-business” work on the weekends.
God gave us the gift of rest. He called it the Sabbath. In the ancient times the people of God recognized the Sabbath as one day, Saturday according to the Gregorian calendar, that they simply didn’t work. It was a time to rest and breathe and think and decompress from six days of work.
After Jesus came to earth, Christians began recognizing Sunday as the Sabbath day. A lot of people still stick pretty tightly to Sunday being a day of rest. For me, I still try to keep at least one day a week, usually Sunday, as my rest day. And yet, there are still Sundays where I feel unproductive.
The truth is, resting is doing something. Resting can be very productive. Rest is a reminder that it’s not all about me. Rest is a reminder that the world spins on with or without me. Rest reminds our hearts that God’s power, not our own, sustains our lives.
How to find rest
- Go to bed earlier. One of the highest spiritual disciples can be sleep. If you’re needing more rest, start with sleep. Don’t fall asleep to your phone or the TV. Just go to bed without an electronic glow lulling you to slumber.
- Get away from the familiar. Drive to somewhere beautiful and soak it in without distractions.
- Unglue your eyes from your screens. This means your phone, tablet, computer, TV, Apple watch, anything with glowing pixels needs to be detached from your focus.
- If you’re really pressed for rest, block out time in your calendar (half-day or a full day) as a meeting that cannot be moved. It’s way easier said than done, but if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, you need your rest or there won’t be a you to rest at all.