day 1399: Rest

While on a pilgrimage walk on the Camino de Santiago (St. James Way) in Spain, I asked some of the most committed and courageous faith-driven business leaders I know to guest contribute to Purposed worKING.  Enjoy! – Rusty

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

I recently completed a four day digital “detox” in which I didn’t check email, voicemail, texts or use the internet (except to order take out – a man’s gotta eat!). This is a practice that I’ve employed on and off for the last decade or so. And each time I do it, I’m reminded of how important rest is to our working lives.

This blog asks the question “What would be the most meaningful … things you could do with the 40 hours of the week spent … working?”

But in order to accomplish what you are meant to do in this world with your working hours, it’s crucial to also orient the non-working hours in such a way that you truly achieve rest.

Rest isn’t just sleep. It’s also the waking hours that are used to rejuvenate and replenish what you have exhausted in your work. We all understand that for the physically tasking work, physical rest is necessary. But it’s also true for mentally or emotionally tasking work.

For me, to rest mentally and emotionally, I have to unplug from the constant checking and responding to inbound requests (phone, email, texts). A day away from my iPhone is a treat; ten days (!) is revolutionary to my well-being and centered-ness something I’ve committed to doing once a year. Of course, only you know what rest is for you.

In our culture, rest is overlooked, or worse, chastised. We “brag” about only “sleeping four hours” or that “80 hour work week.” But in order truly make your work meaningful, you need a healthy amount of rest. This is the model that God sets for us in the poetic telling of one of the greatest acts of work of all time, the creation of the universe. This is not to say that God needed to rest. But rather, He wanted us to understand the value of it.

“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Not only is rest good, it has a special place; God sets rest aside as holy. So the question is simply, “Do you?”

Reference: Genesis 2:1-3
Ben Chelf

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