I got a shock this week. I went for lunch in a pub not far from where I live. The landlady is always there. She’s chatty, funny and a real people person. She’s often told me she’s not had a day off in eleven years.
When I suggested that at least she got Christmas Day off, she told me that was their busiest day!
She’s also been involved in politics – fighting the big breweries for better terms for pub landlords, whose position is often precarious.
Well, this week, she wasn’t there. When I joked with the lady behind the bar about if she was finally taking a day off, she told me the landlady had a stroke!
Fortunately, it looks like one that she will recover from.
I hope she starts taking a day off now.
I am absolutely convinced that humans are designed to need a break every seven days. Whatever our normal work is, we need a complete day’s rest from it every week.
I think this is the real meaning of the story of creation in the Bible. It was never about the science of nature. It is about our physical, mental and spiritual needs. It has stood the test of time.
Interestingly, in that story of beginnings, humans are created at the end of the week so their first day is the day of rest.
We tend to think in terms of resting from work. But I think this story tells us that we are designed to work from rest.
Rather than collapsing exhausted at the end of the week, if we do the rest properly – engaging only in activities that are healthy and that recharge us and our emotional energy – then we can work from that position of rest. Our weekly rest becomes a firm foundation for the week ahead. It is a reversal of the usual thinking but I find it much healthier.
I hope the lovely landlady recovers fully. I hope she has learned a lesson. We cannot work without a weekly ‘sabbath’ rest.
It is actually a ‘holy’ day – which is where we get the word ‘holiday’ from.
OK. I got bit spiritual there. But you need a break.
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‘I will give you rest.’ – Jesus