The Rest of the Story

During the evening hours, if I sit on the couch to watch a show with my wife, I often doze off halfway into the show (if not sooner). Then, in the middle of the night, maybe around 3:00 a.m., I wake up to use the restroom and cannot get back to sleep. How can sleep come so easily during the regular evening hours, and yet elude me in those wee hours when I’m exhausted and can barely think straight? Then there’s my son, who can get into our car and fall fast asleep before we even make it out of our neighborhood. Thankfully, this only happens when he’s a passenger, not the driver!
I know I’m only talking about sleep, but these experiences cause me to wonder about the whole concept of rest. A line from next week’s reading in the Core 52 book jumped out at me: “It’s senseless to thank God for the job we have but not rest on the Sabbath when He promised it would increase our productivity.” As my family would attest, I have trouble just sitting still for a minute, let alone truly resting. Life is typically so busy that when I have an hour or two of downtime, I don’t feel grateful as much as guilty. How in the world can I devote an entire day of every week to rest? And is it really possible that I will get more done in six days of work than seven?
Many of us have no time for the things that matter the most, and that means we’ll never find rest for our souls. I’m sure God did not need rest, but He took a day off, anyway. Here’s what the Bible says about that: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 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” (Genesis 2:2-3).
To be a little corny, you could say that’s the “rest of the story” of creation. God did not rest because He was exhausted; He rested to celebrate His creation and to put in place the principle of the Sabbath. This means that creation’s greatest productivity is within a cycle that includes rest. That’s the answer to my question of whether it’s possible to get more done in six days of work than seven. It may or may not help me sleep, but it will certainly focus my mind and heart on what matters the most, which will then lead to rest for my soul.
Troy Burns