I look forward to Mondays each week like most people look forward to the weekend – remember that 1981 song by Loverboy called, “Working for the Weekend”?
Why Mondays? Mondays are my day off. It’s the day that I relax and rest in the midst of doing odd jobs around the house and maybe reading a good book over a hot drink at one of the city’s many coffee shops.
It’s a day to unwind from the business of life. It’s a day to let my soul breathe deeper than other days. Christians have a different view of rest than many others. It comes from our understanding of how the Bible records that God created us and our appreciation for the rhythms of life that he has hard-wired into humanity.
In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, the narrative of Creation is recorded and it’s on day six that it reads:
“God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Many of us would recall that on the next day, the final day of Creation, it records that God rested from all the work that he undertaken. In fact, we learn that this seventh day is blessed and set aside as a day of rest for all.
God works for six days and then rests. Humanity is created and then, before any work is done, is given the gift of a day of resting by the Creator. Christians believe that we do our work out of a time of rest, rather than resting from the work that we do.
This little adjustment in our approach to life and rest makes a massive difference in how we live, and because of it we work out of the rejuvenation we find in our resting times as opposed to trying to just make it to the finish line of the day.
When you think about it, the normal rhythms of life really do attempt to reinforce this in us.
For example, we begin each day with sleeping (rest) and then we wake and work. When we see Sunday as the first day of our week rather than the last, we start with attention given to restoring our soul and refreshing our mind by resting and doing what we love to do before we move into days of work.
Rest makes you more alert, keeps you positive, helps you say the right things at the right times, gives you patience, helps you keep your mouth shut when you should, gives you more grace, opens your eyes, takes stress away and makes you stronger, gives you better ideas, brings focus, brightens the colours of our world, and helps you see the extra mile, and then go there.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”, and as we align our lives with how he created us to live, everything begins to change.
What does your next day off look like? May it be the beginning of your week rather than the recovery from it.
Dan King is a Youth and Young Adults Pastor, Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church