The Value of Rest

We live in a world which values work. Pushing yourself to the max is a virtue.

If a person isn’t working 50-60 hours a week they probably are just being lazy. They obviously need to be giving more to the company.

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Even in the home it can be like this. The kids need to be washed everyday, all floors swept, never dirty laundry around, not a dirty dish in the sink, and on and on.

When someone decides they do not want to take that route with their lives people often look at them as lazy. I have even caught myself thinking like this. Recently I heard a guy who owns his own company talk about how he works about 25 hours a week.

“Must be nice to be lazy,” was the thought I had to fight out of my head. I have been conditioned to value long hours because it is a value of so many around me.

Rest is not equal to lazy.

When I was at my peak running condition (I’m talking post-high school. I’ve never been able to get back down to a sub 5 minute mile) I was pushing myself to run 5 or 6 days a week. Each day I would push myself with different running workouts for conditioning.

I’d spend a day running shorter distances but at a faster pace.

One day I would run 7-9 miles.

Usually one day a week I would do a fartlek. (It’s a Swedish word which means, “speed play.” It also sounds hilarious which makes it easy to remember.)

I’d mix other workouts in there as well but every single week I would be sure to have at least one rest day.

It was not because I just wanted to sit on the couch and do nothing except eating my weight in potato chips. Can you imagine how many bags that would be?

Giving my body a day to rest was just as beneficial to my routine as the days I spent running my legs off.

Without rest I would strain my muscles and end up causing an injury. Rest is an important part of any workout routine.

Rest allows healing

In the running world, healing may mean I give my legs time to recover from an injury, or allowing them to go a day without putting added strain on the muscles. In the long run it actually helps to strengthen them.

It is the same way in our everyday lives. Sometimes we need to take a step back from the business to do some healing.

I’ve seen people who are great at their jobs become burned out because of the constant emergency atmosphere found in them. They run around all day attending to one fire after another. A person can only live that way for so long before needing to step back and breath.

Resting from the business can heal a terrible attitude brought on from fatigue. It can give the body time to heal from a cold we have from not getting rest. It can give some time to allow a storm to blow over from hurt feelings.

We like to believe we can just keep going at the same pace but that is not true for anyone.

Take some time off.

We need to rest. It is a necessity. God gave us the example in the beginning, we find in Genesis that God created everything in six days and on the seventh he rested.

If anyone did not need to take some time off it was God. It’s not like He was burned out. But he was giving us an example. It is important to regularly observe rest (weekly and in seasons of our lives).

If you are hanging on to some vacation days at work, put down for some time off.

If you have been going non stop with the kids, find a trusted babysitter.

If every weekend has been booked for the last six months, schedule a weekend of rest. Let family and friends know you will not be taking part in anything.

Relax.

Sleep

Even sleeping is viewed as lazy.

“I cannot believe she took a nap today. How lazy.” Or she was up in the middle of the night. Maybe she has been working hard for a month and needed a little extra snooze.

Perhaps she has decided instead of pumping herself full of the awake drug (caffeine) she would take a more natural approach to having energy.

Get a full nights rest (unless you have small children. Then sleep whenever humanly possible). When we don’t, our bodies are more vulnerable to illness. Then your body is going to force you to rest and sleep. And when you ignore the illness it only gets worse from there.

Stop living to this society’s standard for success. Busyness and nonstop activity do not equal success. People do not always look out for others which means there are times we must look out for ourselves.

We are so conditoned to work, work, work, we downplay the importance of much needed rest.

Dont do that to yourself. Schedule some rest for yourself today.

You will thank yourself later.