I have a coworker who is retiring today and I have just gotten home from vacation and it has me thinking about rest. We live in a society that values busyness and productivity but rarely looks at the value of rest and the seasons of life. God has given us seasons, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years not in order to just provide variety or a purpose to own a planner but in order to show us the value of the demarcation of time and seasons into times of productivity and times of rest. What we do and the product of our days is valuable but so is the allocation of times and seasons of rest.
In order to be at our best, as human beings, we need times of rest and refreshing. Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything and there is a purpose for everything under heaven. Wise words indeed! There is a time to work and a time to rest. How are you doing on the rest part? Do you give your body and mind times of rest and refreshing by escaping from work or even from home, at times. Weekends were made for rest and play. Yes, there are times we have to work on weekends but we should set aside at least one day each week to rest and find enjoyment. Even God rested on the seventh or Sabbath day, not because He was tired but because He was giving us an example. (Yes, I stole that one from my pastor.)
What about vacation? We are a country of people who often let their paid vacation days go rather than utilize them for the purpose of getting away with friends and family. Research has shown that vacation time improves workers’ productivity and improves relationships. Vacation time can be used for elaborate vacation destinations, day trips or staycations (where you take time off and just enjoy being at home).
What about retirement? Well, I generally do not believe in retirement. I think most people need to be productive and active in order to flourish but there is a time to leave a job that you have done for years, that no longer fulfills you or that is taxing your aging body. Retirement should look different for everyone as it is an individual thing but it is a time that you cease from the “grind” of a 40 hour workweek, doing something just to pay your bills.
Maybe it is a career change, a lighter schedule, a return to school or beginning to volunteer or pursue hobbies or skills that you have always wanted to do or learn
I encourage you to take a rest/siesta/vacation soon. You will feel better physically, mentally and emotionally if you do and your relationships will improve if your rest includes family or friends. Go ahead, I dare you to give yourself a day, a week, who knows, you may even make it a lifestyle change. Change is good!