Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Seventh Day

This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Houston was blessed with perfect fall weather: virtually cloudless, clear blue sky every day, combined with just-above-chilly temperatures and the near absence of detectable humidity. Especially after the recent heat wave, it would have been almost sinful to spend any of those days indoors.

So I started the weekend a day early. And I don't feel a bit guilty about it.

One advantage of being self-employed is not having any real ethical dilemma in the occasional spontaneous day off. But a surprising number of people feel guilty about taking even officially alloted vacation time. The typical "workaholic" is convinced that his or her career, if not the entire company's financial well-being, depends on being constantly on call to prevent catastrophe--and is blind to the impending personal catastrophes of relationship and health failure. Small wonder that more enlightened employers sometimes reach the point of literally ordering staff members to take time off.

The example was set by the wisest Employer of all. When God included "take every seventh day off" among the Ten Commandments, He knew that regular breaks were vital not only to our physical health but to our spiritual health as well. And an important aspect of spiritual health is remembering Who our real Boss is. Read carefully the above description of a workaholic, and you'll notice that the primary characteristic of such a mindset is an "everything depends on me" attitude.

So one reason for periodically stopping our work is to let God remind us, "No, you need to leave everything to Me."

One day for light, one for the sky, and one for all that grew,
And one for sun and moon and stars, back when the world was new;
One day for birds and water beasts, and one for beasts of land
And human life: and then one day for rest, at God’s command.

God gives His blessing to our work; but on one day in seven
He gives a time of holy rest for those who look to Heaven;
To those who follow in His ways, to those who seek His mind,
He says, “Withdraw from work today, the best My will to find.”

The seventh day, the day of rest, He blessed before the Fall;
And to His people long ago, He gave command that all
Would set apart that time again, all work to put away
To worship Him without distraction, on the seventh day.

God gives the time we need for work, but also time to rest
While we walk through this fractured world as those His love has blessed;
But work and rest will soon be one, when time will pass away,
And Seven Spirits guard the Throne, in God’s Eternal Day!

No comments: