Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27 NASB)
Monday is my day off. Often, writing a devotion on a Monday morning can prove very difficult. It goes something like this. I wake up, make coffee, take my dog out, and then sit in front of my computer, staring at the screen, trying to think. I want to write my daily devotion. My brain wants to sleep. So, it does. Meanwhile, the rest of me tries to force out a devotion. Very frustrating.
In anticipation of this, I went to bed early last Sunday night. But, in spite of going to bed an hour earlier than usual, I woke up two and half hours later than usual. The only reason I woke up at that time was that my dog’s cold nose was pressed against my cheek. Geez, I love that animal . . . except on Mondays.
To say I slept soundly is an understatement. I don’t remember anything between my head hitting the pillow to my dog waking me up. I don’t really remember walking to the bathroom. I do, however, remember the shock of looking into the mirror. The bags under my eyes were so large I could’ve packed them for a four-day trip.
I made coffee, took my dog out, and then sat in front of my computer staring at the screen for three hours. A thought would come to mind and I’d type it out. No thoughts would follow. Delete. Start over. Same thing.
Here’s the point. We need rest. It’s true we are not under the Old Testament law concerning the Sabbath. And, the New Testament Sabbath is not a day. It’s the person of Jesus Christ (Hb. 4:1-11). All that being said, I do think there is wisdom in taking a day of rest. Our bodies and brains need to recoup. Sometimes that means doing nothing and not feeling guilty about it.
Often we fill up our days off with all the “to do” items we didn’t get done during our days on. The eventual result is that we get burned out. In the Old Testament, God instituted the Sabbath Day for the benefit of the people of Israel. The idea was: work hard, then rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate.
Studies have shown that we are much more productive when we take a rest day once a week. Just Google, “the importance of a rest day,” and see for yourself. Science tells us what God already told us. It’s wise to take a day of rest.
We don’t have to get legalistic about it. That would take the “rest” out of the rest day. But, we can be thankful for rest days and try to protect them. We don’t have to go “ninety to nothing” all the time. We can take a break. We can have a Sabbath each week. After all, they were made for us. Why not use them?
© Paul R Downing