If God needed rest, don’t we?
Image Credit: Anthony Tran
And on the seventh day, God rested (Genesis 2:2, in the Bible)
When I was in secondary school, tired and overworked, I remembered the most precious time of preschool, known as 'nap time'.
As I worked all day every day, I realised how we had all taken such a wonderful opportunity to sleep for granted. Now that we are all older, I imagine that not many of us have opportunities to intentionally rest throughout the day.
But resting is incredibly important. We cannot hope to function properly, let alone function well if our brains and bodies aren't rested.
God, who never gets tired, does it.
Rest is so important in the Bible that even God, who never gets tired, does it. In the creation account, God creates the universe and everything in it in 6 days, then he rests on the seventh. He uses this model to show us how we should live our lives.
If you want to read the account, you can find it in Genesis 1:1-2:3.
The seventh day of rest is known as the ‘Sabbath’ in the Bible. And in the Old Testament, it was a strict law that people followed. The Jews were not allowed to do anything on the Sabbath, and I mean anything.
When Jesus came, he taught that some things are more important. He healed people on the Sabbath, which angered some of the Jews. He said, "Man is not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man".
It's there to help us rest and work better.
In short, the Sabbath is there to help us rest and work better. It is not a strict rule that we need to follow.
When I came to university, I started taking a Sabbath each week, and it has massively improved my life. Taking an entire day off from work each week can be scary, especially when I have exams or deadlines, but I trust that God will help me get everything done in the other 6 days.
Sabbath might sound complicated, but in Hebrew, it literally means ‘to cease’, as in ceasing work to rest.
My typical Sabbath looks like: Church in the morning, lunch with friends, sometimes a dance class in the afternoon, but nearly always some Netflix and knitting, or a good book.
Relax and enjoy yourself.
I really recommend setting a day aside each week, it doesn’t have to be a Sunday, to relax and enjoy yourself. You could go for a walk, or go to the cinema; you could get creative, or even just hang out with friends.
I’ve found that taking a whole day off each week has made my work throughout the rest of the week more efficient. I’m less tired, and I’m more likely to enjoy my studies.
It has also meant that I make time to see my friends and I feel happier.
Sometimes we treat rest as a ‘worst case scenario’. We often work until we drop, and then we need to rest. But if we live like that, we’re never quite on top of our game, and it can become difficult to enjoy life if we’re always tired and on the go.
Build rest into your routine.
Instead, we should build rest into our routine, even if we don’t feel like we need to. Doing so will help us live happier and healthier lives.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3)