There’s a set of seemingly conflicting messages about Labor Day, which was yesterday: the importance of work and the importance of taking breaks. Even just in the first chapter of the Bible we see God working incredibly hard to create the universe and all the parts of it including the planets, the lights and the animals, followed by God doing something interesting, and that’s resting. The creation story continues in Genesis 2 and 3 with God creating humans and then takes a break at the end of the day to hang out with them.
If there’s anyone who knows what a hard day looks like, it’s God who has to be on top of what is going on in every corner of the world. He has to keep things creating and growing, listen to all the requests and prayers, care for each person, create miracles and sometimes destruction. I can’t imagine what it takes to create a planet, let alone a leaf on a tree.
As much as God knows how to work, He also knows how to rest. He wasn’t shy about taking the seventh day to rest or taking time to hang out with Adam and Eve in the garden. I don’t think the creation story would have been negatively impacted if God rested at the end of each day of creation, rather than waiting until the seventh day, but there is value in the statement of God finishing His work before He rested.
Rest is important because it gives us time to get perspective, to reflect on what we’ve done and make sure that we’re going in the best direction, as well as give our bodies and minds time to renew themselves, since we’re not designed to be on the go and making physical demands of them 24/7. But I think it’s significant that God worked much more than He rested, especially initially, as it’s a statement about the importance of work and making sure that you get it done.
So this week as we enter a new work week in a new month, I encourage you to find a happy medium between working hard, getting all the work done, doing your work well, and taking time to rest, rejuvenate and reconnect with the important people in your life.