The Reason for Rest

A few weeks ago we started a discussion about rest. If you missed any of those posts you can find them here:

As a software developer, I know there are times when we just work on a project, and then there are crunch times when we get ready to launch something where we work 80 hour weeks and don’t sleep much until it’s done. It’s the nature of the beast. There is so much to do and so little time to do it all in. You guys understand this, right? The first 80% of a project happens super fast and like it is no problem at all and the last 20% takes everything you’ve got and you want to throw the whole project out and start over again because every time you fix something and you think you’re almost done something else breaks that is critical to the completion of the project.

I apologize for that amazing run-on sentence. Forgive me.

Anyway, during those times, finding time to rest is hard. But man, is it ever important. How you’ve rested before, how you rest during, and how you’re going to rest afterward are of utmost importance when it comes to how successful you are with the project and how you feel coming out the other side.

I remember a few years ago we did a big launch for a project and by the time it was over almost everyone on our team was sick or would get sick. That was an illustration in how not to do it.

Resting, taking time off, “Sabbath”, whatever you want to call it is incredibly important. So important that even God rested. Check out Genesis 2:2-3:

“By the seventh day, God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.”

God is the only being that has an infinite amount of energy. You and I do not. He didn’t rest because He needed to. He rested because He knew we needed to and, in His grace, gave us an example. He knew that without someone telling us that we needed to rest and without someone showing us how it’s done, we would never do it. He knew we would literally need to be commanded to do it. I believe that’s why we find it near the very top of the Ten Commandments:

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor 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.

— Exodus 20: 8-11 (NIV)

He Can Do More

I’ve heard this concept in when it comes to tithing: When you submit your finances to God and honor Him with the first 10% of your income, God can do more through you with your 90% then you can do alone with the whole 100%.

I believe this to be true and have seen it play out in my life. I also believe this is true of our time, work, and rest. If we will honor God and follow His commands for taking a day off, He can and will do more with our 6 days of work then we would be able to do with a full 7.

So we rest because God rested. We rest as a matter of obedience. If leaders go first, then God went first and showed us that rest is important enough to command us to do it. Take a day off once a week. Do something fun. Don’t feel guilty about it. I’ll see you back here next week.