I have been working on some lessons on rest over the last week or so and one of the things that hit me was how messed up our view of rest is. Rest is punishment. When you are a kid and don’t do your chores you get grounded. When you are an adult and do poorly at work you get fired. If you commit a crime you go to jail. Rest is punishment. It is important that we don’t let our culture poison the importance of rest.
One of the points scripture makes about Sabbath rest is that it reflects an underlying reliance on God. If we trust God will take care of us we don’t have to work ourselves to death in the rat race of life. Rest also gets our priorities in line and allows us to enjoy some things that are hard to enjoy when you are working (family, time with God, etc). Rest can also be taken to an extreme but I doubt too many of us suffer from that problem. We need downtime. We need the recognition that not everything in life is dependent upon our abilities to get it done.