Posted by Rob Swan

I need a break

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Back at school a friend of mine was such a regular for detention that one of our teachers used to have pre-written slips just for him. I remember one class, the inevitable happened and the dialog went as follows:

“Bodenstein, detention!”

“When sir?”

“Next Tuesday, 15:30.”

“Sorry sir, I am fully booked next Tuesday. My next free spot for detention is next Thursday sir.”

Our diaries tend to fill up rather quickly. With such high demands our lives move at an unforgiving and unrelenting pace.

In response to such a reality, our current culture seems to deem any person who wants to take a break as weak or lazy. When I am asked how I am doing, therefore, I feel an incessant need to explain how busy I am, in fear that I will be labelled idle.

But does this thinking belong in the kingdom of God?

  1. We are definitely meant to work. God made humanity to work, lack of work creates a lack of life in a person.
    1. Have a look at Genesis 1-2 and Proverbs 10:4 “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.”
  2. We are definitely meant to rest. God, also, made humanity to rest. This rest is ultimately in our relationship with Jesus, but we are also to take active breaks. We are to take an active break at least once a week, and as Jesus gave example, we should retreat for a break when needed and when possible
    1. Have a look at Genesis 1-2 and Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

I would argue that to take breaks in life is to live as Jesus lived, and therefore it is mature and wise to take breaks – thus if done alongside work, not lazy and weak. It is a mark of sober mindedness.

Encourage yourself to take active breaks, encourage your children, your spouse, your friends, your colleagues to take breaks. Your soul needs it, and thus as your soul finds rest so will the rest of your life. As you take an active break from work, WhatsApp and the various pulls of life, you may find that your marriage flourishes; relationships with the children bloom; your work time becomes more productive; your lifestyle becomes happier and aging is slowed down.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help us to take breaks. Lord Jesus, I need rest, may I find the rest I need in you. And to take active moments in life to find you and grant my soul rest, giving my mind and body time to rest too. Amen.

Here are some articles online that may be helpful too: