Relax – it’s August!

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” ~ Genesis 2:1-2

Yes – God took a break.  

Not because He was tired from creating the world but to set the pattern for us, his creatures who are made in his image.

Here in Genesis, the pattern of 6 days work and 1 day of rest was establish for all human beings. And throughout the Old Testament law, we see God extending this pattern for the nation of Israel – work and rest – work and rest. Exodus 20 gives us the 4th commandment: “‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”

The pattern of work and rest is extended to the yearly calendar of feasts and festivals God commanded as well as the Sabbath Year (Lev 25) which called for the nation of Israel to refrain from working the fields every seven years.

In our modern days, we have to fight to keep our “Sabbath day” holy.  Work continues 24/7 for many.  Some struggle with finding a pattern of work and rest because they are not in control of their work schedule.  At times bosses don’t care that you’ve worked 10 days in a row.  If you want to keep working, you better show up tomorrow!  The Sabbath laws were laws of justice as they protected Israelite workers from being exploited.

Thankfully, many of us do have some control over our schedule.  The pressure to overwork comes from our internal identity issues in which our personal value is wrapped up with our performance on the job. Taking non-productive time off to read, hike, or even sleep challenges our performance-based identity.

The month of August is a time when it seems as though London takes a deep breath, slows down just a bit, before roaring back to life in September.  And I’m so thankful for this month.

Take advantage of the London calendar. Slow down a bit.  Turn off the TV and read a book.  Walk in the park.  Take a nap. Slow down and “smell the roses” both figuratively and literally!

This is the pattern God designed for us.  Rest is good for the soul.  Make rest a priority in your life – weekly, monthly, annually.

And thank God for his good design!
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Chris Hatch

Seeking to love God and neighbor