Monday, April 1, 2013

Intentional Rest

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whoever does work therein shall be put to death" -exodus 35:2

"Rest is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. It rejuvenates your body and mind, regulates your mood, and is linked to learning and memory function. On the other hand, not getting enough rest can negatively affect your mood, immune system, memory, and stress level." -APS Healthcare
Easter this year was not only a wonderful holiday with Florida and family, but it was unique in that I forced myself to use the day as I should be using most sundays- as a intentional day of rest. Sunday for me and I expect many other Americans has become "catch up day". I remember in my household it was often when we cleaned the garage or did house projects, later on in school it was my primary Homework day. Now it is when I gear up for the week, clean my apartment, do laundry and catch up on other things.
Which often means I have no scheduled days of rest. I rest when I need to: when I get sick or when I am just too tired to keep up my daily pace. Sometimes I go to bed early on a friday night. But really my rest is reactional, not intentional.
I thrive on being busy and working hard. But I am realizing it is not a pace I can keep up all the time, and working on things, no matter how much I enjoy them or need to do them, is not meant to be done every day of the week. So I am challenging myself to intentionally schedule more days of rest. Where I cannot work on my to-do list (or add to it), where I am not catching up for the week to come. Where I am just focusing on being present, enjoying others company, rejuvinating by resting, eating well and perhaps spending time with those I love.
I threw in the bible verse at the top because I know it is where Sunday as a day of rest originates. Interesting how the verse threatens death if we do not use this day for rest. I don't know how literally I take this, but I do see death as the obvious consequence if we as humans choose not to rest. Not only does lack of rest make you suffer physically, but also mentally, emotionally etc.
Anyone who knows me well will know this is a fairly significant perspective shift for me. My intention is to start recognizing this simple commandment from the bible and start using it to enhance the quality of my daily life. We shall see how it goes :).

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of deliberately taking some time for rest and restoration on a regular basis, a Sabbath rest. The way people do this is something you have the freedom to decide for yourself. "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27)NLT. Sabbath is not a legalistic thing, and families and friends often spent Sundays interacting with each other doing active things, as this is restorative and healthy for them. It is also great to have time to pause for reflection, reading, or walking outside. I like going to church to reset my compass and to worship.
    When we were in Jerusalem staying at the Hyatt, we were amazed to discover that on the Sabbath (Saturday) the elevators were preset to stop on floors without requiring a button to be pushed. We were told that this was for the ultra othodox Jews who believed that even pushing buttons on an elevator was too much work to be done on the Sabbath! That is exactly the kind of legalism that Jesus encountered in his day with the legalistic Jews who were so intent on interpreting every detail of their law, but who had lost the main point of loving and helping each other on the Sabbath.