Relax, take a break! God commands it.

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, September 5, 2018

By Karen Y. Stevens

I was thinking how “Labor Day” sounds like we should be laboring on that day, not taking a break. They should have named it “relax day” or “chill out day”. According to our holidays, we only have one day a year to celebrate all that we accomplish, but God gave us one day a week. He even named it properly; the Sabbath which means “to cease”. More than 80 countries in the world have a day which commemorates the value of work. Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” The beginning of work, is from the beginning of time. When God completed creation, He called it “very good”. We are created in the image of God, and are designed to experience success and fulfillment through hard work! As Christians, we should view our main job or objective, as an opportunity to serve God through perseverance, patience, and to serve others through a Christ-like attitude.  John 6:27 is telling us “not to labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.” But on the flip side, the Bible warns those who are not working enough (“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man”—Prov. 6:10-11). But it consoles those who have been working hard and need a rest, as was the case when Jesus’ disciples were working so hard, they didn’t have time to stop and eat. (Mark 6:31) “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”. It must have been comforting to hear from Jesus: c’mon, take a break. That is a message many of us, in this high-pressured world, need to heed. We can honor God, not by doing more and more, but by taking a break—at God’s command. I know when I first got married, everything was busy, busy. Then when the kids came along it was even busier. It’s not until now, that I see that most of it was so unimportant. Yes, I had to go to work, grocery shop, wash cloths and cook dinner, but all the rest, I could have just sat with my children and my husband. I could have spent more time enjoying them, instead of running around trying to please the world by having the perfect Christmas tree, or the cutest things in my house, or the cleanest house, etc. My house could have been a little dusty. It is now, and I don’t seem to mind! I don’t know why it was so important then? What’s so great about it not being important now, is I can sit with my grandson and not have a care in the world. I know God wants us to do that on the Sabbath with Him. Sit at His feet, looking into His face, without a care in the world. So relax, take a break this Labor Day, and on the Sabbath. It is one of the ten commandments.


Karen Y. Stevens, Founder Orange County Christian Writers Guild