Devotion for the Week...
For a while Nathan used to call Saturdays 'Nothing Days'. He figured, no school and no church, so that meant there was nothing going on. It was cute, but at the same time it drove me crazy because Saturdays were not Nothing Days for me. Saturday usually means grocery day, plus it's the day we clean our church (we're the janitors) and there's always the usual meals, dishes and laundry.
But today is a Nothing Day! Here in Canada this is Victoria Day, which means there is no school, no church, no grocery shopping and no cleaning the church. I did not have to set the alarm for this morning and I have no obligation to be anywhere at a certain time or to do any work outside this house. It's a nice feeling. In fact, I've been looking forward to today for a while just for the 'nothing.'
The Bible certainly emphasizes the importance of work (see here for a devotion about work), but God also recognizes our need for rest. After all, the fourth commandment says, "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 do no work..."(Exodus 20:8,10).
Even the land was given a scheduled rest. "The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 'Speak
to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going
to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest'" (Leviticus 25: 1-5).
Though we don't keep a Sabbath day in our culture, and I doubt there are many farmers who skip a year of planting and harvesting, there is no doubt that God encourages us to find a balance between work and rest. Where is that balance exactly? It's hard to say, and different for every person and situation. From the biblical six days of work to one day of rest, I gather there should be more work than rest, but how we schedule ourselves will depend on our job, our family and our temperament. Sometimes a rest doesn't have to last for an entire day. Two friends of mine said they took long baths (without interruptions from their children) on Mother's Day and it was the best part of their day.
How about you? Do you take Nothing Days, or even Nothing Hours? What do you like to do in those times? Me? I think I'll head out for a walk in the sunshine.