When I don’t take time to rest, I find that I stare a lot. Letting my mind float, I simply stare into space for long minutes. Everyone needs time to rest, no matter how important you are to your family, your ministry or your job. David Brad, a good friend, supervises over 100 people with his manufacturing company. He has made an interesting observation. He says that people take “rest time” no matter how many days they may show up at the work site.
Brad says that the more days his men and women work, the more time they waste. “I won’t allow my employees work week after week for seven days.” He forces his work force to take time off, even though there may be scheduling pressures at work. Even though Brad is a Christian, when he first became a supervisor, he allowed the people under him to work months on end every day. Then he began to notice that the employees who took at least one day a week off were far more productive than the people working day after day.
Brad asserts, “I came to believe that God knew what he was talking about when he mandated that we take one day a week for rest.” I now tell my employees that they must take at least two days a months off for them to keep their jobs. An interesting thing has happened since making that decision; production in his section of the company has skyrocketed.
Pressure to perform and to meet the needs of your commitments may seem to mandate that you keep pressing forward until there is nothing left to give. My good friend, Inez Thompson, used to say, “I’d rather wear out than rust out.” She became a pastor of the largest church in our county after she had turned 65. She ran circles around many of the younger pastors on staff. Yet, she took her day off to rest and reflect. During those hours, she ministered to the Lord and she allowed the Lord to minister to her.
Taking a rest day is a vital choice that we make each week. Too often we slip into the unproductive “stare times” rather than the productive rest days that the Lord commanded that we take. How arrogant we are as humankind to think that we can work every day, month after month, when God took a day of rest after the six days of creation?
The hardest thing I do each week is to take a day off. What about you? Do you try to work every day with little time for rest? How do you find your day off make the working days more productive?