There is a story I heard years ago that has stuck with me for life. Many years ago, in my graduate student hostel, a woman decided to work more than here body could take it. She was moving into the hostel and had tons of work to do. And she wanted to do it all in one day.
So she worked. And worked. And worked. Parking stuff. Arranging stuff. Cleaning.
Despite pleas from a school administrator that she should stop, she continued working. The school admin even told her she could pass the night in her house if she couldn’t make her hostel room move-in-ready on that day. Still, this lady would not listen. She worked. And worked. And worked.
Then the unthinkable happened. She had a cardiac arrest and she died right on the spot. Died. Dead. Gone forever. All because a lady could not leave some for tomorrow.
This story struck a chord with me.
I’m that girl who wants to finish everything she wants to finish in a day. I am that girl who doesn’t leave some for tomorrow. I’m that girl who thrives on accomplishment: doing, doing, then doing some more. I’m that girl who hardly thinks about rest. Rest? It sounded mainly like a myth to me.
But now slowly and surely, I am getting to understand the power of rest and applying it in my life. To be honest, I am not there yet. I still lay down on the couch and respond to comments and call it rest sometimes. Fake rest.
But lately, I have listened to and read a lot of materials drawing me more and more into the power of rest.
“Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” Exodus 20:9-10 (ESV)
Rest is one of the first things God instituted early on in scripture by resting Himself on the seventh day after creating the world for 6 days. He went ahead to instruct His people to work for 6 days and rest for 1 day. Every 6 days of work deserves a day of rest.
The thing is when we work continuously non-stop, we hit rock bottom. We reach a season of overwhelm. We risk totally abandoning our work because we fail to rest. So we must make make rest part of what we do.
Recently. I took a two week break from the blog. It was HARD. Because you know what? My work is one of the first things I think of when I wake up in the morning. So in these two weeks I kept thinking of just continuing with writing, cooking, photographing, recipe testing and all.
But my body. My body was pulling me away. But I was resistant. Reason why I didn’t even announce it. I kept saying perhaps tomorrow I will wake up then make a video and put on YouTube. So I saw no need to announce something that I will eventually probably break.
It was a hard season of let me work, let me not work. Let me rest, let me not rest. But in the end, I’m grateful that I was courageous enough to take some time off. The only regret I have is I didn’t let my followers know they will be missing me for a while.
But here is the thing: at the end of that time, I felt so pumped up and motivated to continue my work here and on YouTube. I felt so refreshed and so full of energy.
Here is the thing: even when we do what we enjoy, we must make time to rest else we will begin to hate the very thing that we enjoy doing.
We must make rest a part of our regular schedules. We must schedule days for doing nothing.
Hard work is sweet. Work hard as much as you can. Be diligent, be disciplined. Be excellent in your work. Strive to be better everyday. Bulldoze as much as you can. But every now and then, in the midst of all this hard, disciplined work, press pause. Do it. Do it intentionally. Take a day off. Rest. Sleep. Play games. Read interesting books. Watch interesting movies. Do nothing but only what is fun, relaxing and puts no pressure on you. Then after that get back to your work and continuing slaying like the boss lady/gentleman that you are.
I’ll share this poem I picked from my daughter’s lesson with you:
Work while you work
Play while you play.
One thing each time,
That is the way.
All that you do,
Do with your might.
Things done by halves
Are not done right.
Now let’s talk. What’s your approach to rest? Do you take days off? Is rest a part of your life? What fun activities do you do in your time of rest? Please share.