Life can get busy. It is a challenge for all of us. How do we get everything accomplished? How do we take the kids to all their extra-curricular events? How do we find the time to just simply read our Bibles and meditate? How do we find time for one another? We are so drained and fatigued. We stay exhausted. I wish I had some magic formula. I wish there was some pill we could take that would take care of it all. Given that neither of those exist, what can we do? Oops! Now I am going to tell each one something to do to add to our already overcrowded list. Well, that is fine, isn’t it?
First, God expects us to work hard. Our best interests are served when we have a meaningful endeavor. Work is for man’s good. God told Adam to work and tend the garden (Gen. 2:15). God wants us to work. It enhances our sense of self-worth. When we have worked hard, achieved and done our job to the best of our ability, we feel good about ourselves. Also, God wants us to work because it enables us to provide for our family (1 Tim. 5:8). Further, God wants us to work because it enhances our influence. If we are lazy, people will not respect us.
Second, God also values rest. In the Sabbath command, there is a principle about the value of rest. The English word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew word meaning rest or cessation from labor. That seems contrary to our whole lifestyle. God did not create our bodies and minds for uninterrupted exertion and constant activity. In the middle of the rat race, God told the Hebrews, “I want you to take a day and rest.” Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man.” We will operate best if we take time to relax and rest our body. We also need time for reflection. We need the time to examine ourselves, our goals, our priorities, our lives (good and bad, right and wrong).
Third, God values worship. The 7th day is Sabbath to the Lord our God. Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath, but the principle behind the Sabbath is true today. Worship God. Sunday is a day we come together in worship to renew our souls. We need that. We need the songs, prayers, teaching, motivating, and scripture that leads us closer to God. People ought to leave worship refreshed, renewed, and revived as our spirits are lifted by hope. Overcrowded schedules steal even the Lord’s day.
Our Jewish forefathers called it the “Holy Sabbath.” Our grandparents called it the Lord’s Day. Our parents called it Sunday. We call it the weekend. If we are not careful, that mentality can strip every meaning of spirituality from the day that ought to be devoted to God. We need to be careful that we do end up worshipping our work and working at our play and playing at our worship. Could it be that our overcrowded lifestyle makes us give God little more than the leftovers of our time?
What can we do to help? First, we must remember it is God’s will that we live a balanced life. We are to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. Was there ever a better illustration and example of a man who lived a balanced life of work, rest, and worship than Jesus? Second, we need to develop a balanced, God-honoring schedule. There is a limited amount of time. Third, learn to plan effectively. Make the most of every opportunity. Fourth, learn it is okay to say, “No.” Finally, we need to start today. There is never a convenient time, so start today.