The Necessary Balance of Work and Rest

You don’t have to go far to find an entrepreneur or creative talking about the hustle. Hustling hard seems to be the anthem of our millennial generation– we know what we want, we have big dreams and hearts full of passion, and we want to get there (wherever there is), and fast.

We aren’t great at being patient. We’re more prone to run ourselves ragged running from work to social events to church gatherings to the gym and all over town than we are to truly rest. We aren’t skilled at slowing down. We’re a generation of instant information, constant connection, and a frenzied fast pace… but I don’t think it’s always healthy for us.

I’ve written before about how I hate the hustle, and it does still rub me the wrong way a lot of the time, but I also realize it is valuable. I also know that for me, especially, as an introverted writer, creative, and believer, rest is essential too. What I’m learning now is that it’s all about balance. It’s all about creating rhythms that free us up to live our best lives as our best selves.

The frenzy? It isn’t sustainable. It will wear you down and burn you out and steal your soul. Rest restores your soul. But too much rest? Well, that’s laziness, and that isn’t helpful or healthy either.

So, what do we do? Too much work is bad, our tired, exhausted souls know that full well. But too much rest isn’t great either…

Let’s go back to the very start. I’m talking chapter one of Genesis here– the very beginning of our world.

It’s clear from the very beginning chapters of the Bible that there’s a rhythm God intended for his people. A pattern was established for us by our Creator himself: work, work, work, work, work, work, rest.

Yes, that’s more work than rest, but the hustle is necessary. I don’t love it, but it’s true. We have bills to pay, ladders to climb, goals to meet, and the list continues. We are called to all different capacities, all different livelihoods, all different careers, and we should absolutely honor those callings with our strongest work ethic and our fullest attention. But (and here’s the best part!), there also is a break from all the work, a sweet and holy time set aside from the busyness, and it’s called Sabbath.

Sabbath isn’t trendy in our 2016 world. It isn’t something you hear talked about on the streets, or on the covers of magazines, but it’s crucial. Really, truly, deeply, powerfully crucial.

Sabbath is the day we pause, we praise, we remember, we reflect, we slow down, we celebrate, we draw near, we come together, we play, we laugh, we move, we eat, and we enter into a whole new kind of soul restoration.

Sabbath is rich and meaningful and it is good.
After all the work, let’s step back like our Creator did and say it is good.
After hard weeks at the office or great weeks chasing dreams, let’s pause to remember it is good.

Let us not get caught up in the hustle so much that we forget to rest and be still. Let us not become so obsessed with the goal-setting and the ladder-climbing and the dream-chasing that we forget we need to slow down. Let us look to the very beginning of our story and see that our good, good Father showed us how to create and how to rest, and let us follow His perfect example.

Finding the balance of work and rest isn’t easy, but it is remarkably worth it. Let’s encourage one another to work hard and rest well, to be wholehearted in our endeavors and our Sabbaths alike so we can be a generation not known by burnout but by lasting fire.

Work, work, work, work, work, work, and rest. It is good.

Rachel_DawsonRachel Dawson loves words– writing them, reading them, doodling them, and using them to speak truth and share the Gospel. She is the editor of both (her real job) and The Rising blog (her passion project). She is a lover of stories, snail mail, sunsets, soy lattes, rap music, tattoos, and puns. You can always find her on Twitter and Instagram or in coffeeshops all around town, usually with her nose in a book and a braid in her hair. Read more of her heart at Twitter: @racheladawson Instagram: @racheladawson