With the summer months here, many of us don’t need to be reminded that it’s time to head out of town on a vacation or at least take some extra time for RNR (rest and relaxation). “You need a break today” isn’t just to be a catchy slogan for companies selling their food. Studies reveal that you work happier, are more focused, and productive with regular break intervals. In other words, you can’t afford not to take a break.
Taking a break is no new phenomenon. It says in Genesis 2:2-3, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 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.” God left margin and then instituted it in our lives.
We are not undervaluing work – God worked for 6 days. However, we are learning His rhythm, His antidote to stress. We are learning to find His rest. Taking time for a break from the regular routine isn’t an “unspiritual” activity. In fact, it can be the most spiritual thing you can do for your own personal health and the health of your relationships.
Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 6:31, “come with me to a quiet place and get some rest”. He was telling them it was time to get away from all the commotion, all the work, and all the things that can create overload. It was time for a break!
In the 90’s comedy “What About Bob”, Bob is a hypochondriac. He seems to be fearful and allergic to almost everything. His psychiatrist Dr. Marvin prescribes this solution: Bob should take a vacation from his problems. (Then through a series of comical events, Bob proceeds to intrude upon Dr. Marvin’s family vacation and ends up finding breakthrough, all the while, Dr. Marvin ends up having a breakdown.)
Perhaps this comedy helps illustrate the truth of how healthy it can be to have regularly schedule breaks, not just during the workday, but for every season in our lives. If you’re having symptoms of being overloaded, irritable, patterns of negative thinking, cloudy vision, or having emotionally charged responses you may need to consider – it’s time for some rest!
What do you do to find your place of rest? Truly, our best place of rest is in the Presence of Jesus. I love how the Message Bible says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)