You need three servants to ensure a good day off: rest, refreshment, and reflection. Your heavenly Father knows you need them, for you are both clay and treasure, both biology and mystery: precious to Him.
To rest is to trust your Father with your unfinished business. Like a cloud of gnats about our faces, there are many things that prompt us to action. But in rest we lower our hands and vulnerably trust that Another will overshadow us, putting to flight all that takes away our peace. To rest, therefore, is an act of faith.
Rest leads to revelation. When the option of labor is removed and we accept a limit to our strength, grace fills that space. We are no longer groping along a wall of good ideas and principles: the King himself shows us His glory and our part in His story. He also shows us His part as King, creatively working together for good the broke, imperfect circumstances we wade through.
In the same way that John the Beloved received a great revelation while in exile on Patmos, so we, too, as we regularly exile ourselves from our work and our efforts, set ourselves up for the the unveiling of a much bigger picture than the keyhole through which we peer in our day-to-day labor.
Refreshment is the second servant to your day off.
We were meant for joy. In each one of us are desires for activities designed to be both life-giving and communion with our Creator. As Eric Liddell said, “When I run, I feel his pleasure.” Likewise, there is something in each of us deposited from our Father in heaven that is at one and the same time a life-giving delight to do and also a bonding agent with the One who lovingly created us.
The world—fallen, orphaned, and at war with its Maker— turns refreshment into a toxin that numbs us to ourselves, to one another, and to our heavenly Father. But through the mediation of Jesus, we are no longer alienated from the One who made us, rather, all the good things he made hold potential becoming life-giving again as He leads us into wisdom, gratitude, and transparent community.
Therefore, on your day off, embrace wholeheartedly something that puts life into you again. Extravagance is not helpful. Simplicity is. Be it swimming or origami; be it poetry or planting marigolds, be one whose joy communes with the One who made you.
Reflection is the third servant to your day off.
Our Father speaks to us through the story we are living: its people, its circumstances; its occurrences both small and grand. When we pause and consider the previous six days, we may apprehend His wink and His whisper through it all.
Our Lord Jesus is revealed like a tender plant and like a root out of the dry ground in the days we pass through; His magnificence is often cloaked in the homely and the commonplace; his beauty is often hidden among bruises. (Isaiah 53:2)
Reflection ensures that we make space to discover Him being right by our side. Like dew on the grass, the Holy Spirit can appear on the memory of our previous six days before it withers into oblivion and ensure that His commitment and kindness are revealed to us. Once we discover these things, they lead us to worship, to wonder, and to recognize with greater clarity the works our heavenly Father has set before us to do. And having enjoyed rest and refreshing, we are ready to put our hands to the plow again. But with joy: the very thing we were designed for.
- Photo by Kaspar Nymann