Rest and Relaxation
My wife, my son, and I returned home today from a great 10-day vacation to visit my family in Florida. I love my family, and they live 5 minutes from the nearest beach, so it is always great to visit them.
I never seem to get enough rest and/or relaxation while on vacation. Sometimes I just want to sit down with a book and let my body vegetate while I read, but usually I want to get out and do all the things that I don’t normally get to do, like spend a few days at the beach and walking through the old fort at Fort DeSoto park.
Thinking about this lack of rest, on what is supposed to be a break from every day life, made me think of our idea of Sabbath, what it means to have a Sabbath, and why we have a Sabbath. I realized that I need to be more intentional in allowing myself and my family time to rest. We rush, rush, rush until we cannot go anymore and then we collapse. We work at an unsustainable pace from Sunday to Saturday with no break in between. Then we take a “vacation” that causes complete exhaustion!
The Monday before we drove back home, I sat down and read 8 or 9 chapters out of the book of Isaiah. This is a book that I studied a lot while in school, and I am still doing a good bit of reading about the book. What struck me as being absolutely different about this time was that I was reading it to read it, and not with another purpose or agenda. I was not attempting to be productive, write a paper, or prepare to teach a class. I was just reading it for pure enjoyment and personal growth, which is something that I have not done enough of lately.
How has this refusal to stop and rest, to study for the sake of studying, to read for the sake of reading, to sit back and smell the air that I am breathing, to see God’s world around me, affected my life and the way I view it? How has it affected the way I treat other people? How has it affected the way I treat creation?
I am going to strive to be intentional about resting from now on. I encourage you to relax as well.