I hear a lot of people complaining that life is getting busier, they never seem to have enough time and certainly don’t have time to take a day off. I can easily relate to that. But surely this isn’t the way we’re supposed to live.
It seems we’re packing our days with more and more activities, and in the process sacrificing sleep and rest. We’re too busy to rest and we’re skimping on sleep. The National Sleep Foundation reports that a growing number of Americans today get less than six hours of sleep and the number of those who get eight or more hours is dwindling.
However sleep and rest are essential for our physical and mental well-being. Our bodies require rest. We were created need a day off each week—a Sabbath day to rest. But is that even possible or realistic today?
I’ve been challenged recently to take a more serious look at this. I remember some time ago when, for a number of years, I faithfully took one day each week to rest. During that time, I was able to maintain an incredibly busy schedule and stay sane and healthy.
In his recent book, 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life, author Matt Sleeth asserts that we’re being subtly enslaved to busyness by our technological tools that allow 24-hour productivity and connectivity. In contrast, taking a Sabbath is about intentionally not doing everything all the time just because we can. He writes, “Setting aside a day of rest helps us reconnect with our Creator and find the peace of God that passes all understanding. The Sabbath is about letting go of the controls one day a week and letting God be God.”
Setting one day a week aside to think, reflect, relate to others, to build families and friendships is rare today. It feels like a luxury we can’t afford. Whereas in reality, it’s one we can’t afford to go without if we want to live healthy, happy lives.
I plan to build a weekly day of rest into my schedule again—a day I can look forward to during the work week. I’m even going to try taking a digital Sabbath and not turn on my laptop for 24 hours. I realize this will take some planning. I know I’ll need to set boundaries and decide ahead how I want to spend that time, but I’m really looking forward to it!
I’d love to hear your comments on how and if you take a day off, and what effect it has on your life.