Be Good To Yourself

Friday, January 23, 1998

Genesis 2:2 – And on the seventh day, God rested.

A couple of years ago, I was at a conference. One of the people there was a long-established and well-respected medical doctor who had a busy, downtown practice, full of corporate executives. One of the lines I heard during a break was "No one, on their death-bed, wishes they had spent more time at the office." I say: right!

People complain about the pressures in their lives. They are frantic to cram more and more in, running seven days every week. People have a nagging feeling that "this is not the way it's supposed to be". You're right, it is not. Go right back to the beginning — the creation story — and see how far out of sync with our humanity we have come.

In the first chapter of Genesis is the account of the creation of the world. There had never been a week in the cosmos like that first week of creation. And what did God do, after it was all done and everything was perfect? Took a day off, and rested up. Looks like God's got more sense than many of us!

The idea of a day of rest continues down through Jewish history. The Jews of Jesus' time took the Sabbath so seriously, that when Jesus healed on that day, it was one of the first points of conflict between the Jewish authorities and the Lord. Jesus responded, "The Sabbath was made for the good of humanity; not humanity for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27-28).

People are not machines. There is a biological cycle of work and rest that is built into our very cells. Our body systems are designed to work each day, and rest at night. Our body systems replenish and rebuild the body during sleep. We are literally re-created each night.

A modern word-picture is "burning the candle at both ends". Take a minute and consider what that does to the poor candle. Poor candle; poor you, if you do that. Just down the hall from the office my doctor friend used to have is a door marked "Cardiac Stress Clinic." That door is busy, with people rushing in and out, to find out what shape their hearts are in.

My suggestion for you: take a time-management lesson from the One who created time, and holds it — and eternity — in open hands. Be good to yourself and those you love. Take some time off. They say you should "stop and smell the roses." Please do, while you are still here to do so. Oh, one more thing: can you please pass this page along to those schedule-driven friends of yours? I don't think they are going to find the time to download it themselves. Thanks!

Prayer: Lord, let us all remember that our lives and our time are in Your hands. You have numbered the days of each one of us. Help us to use the time you have given us wisely. Help us also to remember that rest and recreation are better for us than much of what we think is important. For all this, we give thanks. Amen.

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Bruce M. Dinsmore <>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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