A Labor Day devotion about the restorative power of stopping for a moment to rest.
Posted in , Aug 31, 2014
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” John 6:27
The summer I turned 14, I worked longer hours than I’ve ever worked since. At 6:30 each morning I’d rise and, after a quick breakfast, begin the seven-mile bike ride to a golf course in a nearby suburb, where my brother Doug and I worked as caddies.
We’d arrive at about 7:15, and by 8:00 we’d be on the course, carrying two heavy golf bags each, “double-caddying” for two people at once. These early-morning golfers liked to walk fast, and we’d be back in the clubhouse by about 10:30, having walked 18 holes and about six miles.
By noon, we’d be back out on the course, this time carrying the really heavy golf bag of a more serious golfer or sprinting beside a golfer in an electric cart. The latter was called “fore-caddying”; we had to run ahead of the cart and find the ball in the tall grass before they arrived on the spot.
I worked hard that summer, but I rarely felt very tired. I was only 14. No wonder!
More recently, my toughest days of work have left me mentally, spiritually and physically exhausted. I began to wonder why—until I recently figured out that I was missing something essential: I was forgetting to stop for a moment every now and then to rest my mind, think a fresh thought, walk around the block, pray for a friend or look up in the trees and admire the songbird just outside my office window.
I wasn't more easily refreshed at 14 simply because I was 14; I was less tired then because I was more easily distracted. Today I’m good at focusing. But too much focus leads to too much stress, as well as exhaustion.
It's Labor Day. Take a break today. But don't forget to take a break on your working days too.
Lord, we work hard. Teach us to rest as well as we work.