America: 24-7

Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)

We continue our look at the Fourth Commandment by focusing today on the priority of rest. An interesting phrase entered into American culture in the 1990s that summarizes our life: 24-7. From grocery stores to local television stations, they all boast of their 24-7 service—open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Given that culture is the driving force for most Americans, it’s no surprise that many of us live life 24-7.

Regarding the necessity of rest, T. Dewitt Talmadge said, “Our bodies are seven-day clocks and they need to be wound up, and if they are not wound up they run down into the grave. No man can continuously break the Sabbath and keep his physical and mental health.”

Stephen Covey rightly observed that we Americans spend more money on medical expenses during the last three days of our life than we spend during our entire lifetime! Simply put, we fail to take care of one of God’s greatest gifts: our health.

We are blessed in this country with a five-day work week, but few Americans return to work Monday morning feeling rested and refreshed. Again, culture is driving us to a frenzied pace. Even our “leisure” activities leave us weary.

How can we discipline ourselves to enjoy the benefits of a day of rest? Simple: Just Say No! Refuse to allow your Sundays to become filled with events that will rob you of your day of rest. Rest is something that must be practiced. There is no vitamin or herb supplement you can take that will replenish your batteries in place of rest.

Even in church this can be a delicate balance. A church like Grace offers a multitude of opportunities on Sundays. If you participate in all that is offered, your day of rest will become a day of stress. Make it a priority to participate in a worship service and small group or Bible fellowship, but then weigh your time commitments carefully.

Your goal should be to finish the day Sunday feeling rested and refreshed. If those two words do not describe your body on Sunday night, examine where you can make changes to bring balance back to your life.

Lord, thank you for the life you have given me and the health to enjoy it to the fullest.
I pray today that you will create in me a desire to make rest a priority.

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