It’s true – we are a busy people. I’m busy! You’re busy! In fact our entire lives are based on being busy. We wake up in the morning to an alarm that calls us out of sleep and into the busy pace of life. From that moment on we are busy doing “stuff”. We have work stuff, family stuff, shopping stuff, errand stuff, friend stuff, and house stuff…let’s face it we have a lot of “stuff” to do. In fact, now that I think about it – I’m so busy with stuff – I probably don’t have enough time to finish this article. And please tell me why you’re taking time to read this article. Don’t you have “stuff” you need to be doing – you don’t have time to read this. Get out there and be busy!
The problem is that we begin to crave the pace of being busy. We thrive on being busy. We wear “busy” like a red badge of courage. Have you ever noticed that as busy as people are – they are never too busy to stop and tell you how busy they are. You would think that by the end of a work week we would be exhausted from being so busy. But instead, we pack our weekends full of activities in order to escape being busy. Let’s face it we have a problem!
That’s why the wisdom God displayed in creation is so needed today! Most people think that the story of our origin is over after the first 6 days of creation. But don’t forget there is a seventh day! By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (Gen. 2:2) God established a very necessary component to life – called rest. It’s something that we “busy” people scoff at – but something we desperately need.
Was God Tired?
When we think of rest – we tend to think of replenishing our energy and strength. Rest is something needed as the result of exhausting ourselves and becoming tired. But God doesn’t get tired. He is all powerful and never exhausts his strength or energy. So why would God rest if he wasn’t tired? He rested for our sakes – not his. To borrow from the movie Princess Bride – “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” The word rest means to cease, be still, be quiet, an end to activity. So in essence this word is saying that God paused, he was still. God reflected on the work of his creation – he blessed the day, he set it apart, and gave it to us as a pattern to follow in our own lives. No, God wasn’t tired – but at the end of the week he was still, paused, and ceased from his current activity.
The day of rest God established is like a period at the end of a sentence. Not that I would naturally know this – but I’ve been told there is such a thing as a run-on sentence. If a sentence is crowded with too many subjects without a period to separate the thoughts – it becomes nearly impossible to determine what the meaning of the sentence is. The same is true when it comes to our lives. If we run through our week rushing from one activity to another, without ever pausing to reflect or be still – we put ourselves at risk. We risk missing the life God intended for us to have. Without the period at the end of each week – we create run-on weeks which make it virtually impossible for us to find the purpose and meaning God created for our lives.
What’s the Point?
God set aside one day in the week to cease from our current activity and to be still, quiet, and reflect. He put his stamp of approval on this type of day in the week by setting it aside for this specific purpose. Later God gave further definition to the day – by establishing it as a day in which we specifically worship God. So what does all this mean to us in our “rat race” lives? It means that we can’t continue the busyness in our lives without consequences. We will break down without the pause in each week that God created for us. We will begin to lose the meaning of our lives without being still long enough to reflect on God’s work in our lives. We will struggle in our lives with frustration and emptiness without placing the period at the end of our week. Worship is not an option for us – it is a necessity. God created us with an inward need to connect with God each week. So before you make a decision that going to church is not really relevant in your life, perhaps you should look to see where you’re placing the period in your week. Leisure activity alone will not create the pause and stillness you need in life. The period has to put in the right place – if you want the busyness to stop and for life to make sense. So this weekend – reestablish the period in your life. Set aside purposely Sunday as the day in which you cease from your current activities and pause long enough to reflect on the word God has done in your life the previous six days. Here’s a hint – each week requires a period at the end of the sentence!