God’s work-life balance

The summer holidays have arrived, and families are beginning to go away on holiday. For many it’s the first opportunity to have a holiday for 3 years because of the pandemic. Children are looking forward to 6 weeks when they don’t have to go to school and will have no homework. They will be able to relax, play with their friends and do things they enjoy doing. The weather promises to be good, if a little hot, and those who are going abroad are hoping there won’t be too many problems at the ports and airports. Hopefully parents and children and teachers will be refreshed and will return ready to start the new academic year in September.

We all need a right balance between work and rest. A good work-life balance is something younger people especially value. The book of Genesis tells us that after God created the heavens and earth in six days, he rested from all his work and “blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” He knew that the human beings he had created needed both constructive work and, also, a regular weekly day of rest.

The Ten Commandments, which God gave to Moses, include a commandment about a weekly day of rest. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

All of us, whether we are religious or not, need and benefit from regular times of rest. The proverb “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” is true. When we don’t have times of rest and recreation, life becomes a monotonous routine; every day is the same. For Christians Sundays have a special significance because they remind us of the eternal rest in heaven and the wonderful blessings God has prepared for all who love him. At many funeral services these words from the Book of Revelation are read, “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.’”

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