Knowing When To Say "When"

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
— Exodus 20

Are you obsessed with work? Which statement below best describes you:

  • I work 40 hours per week
  • I work 50 hours per week
  • I work 51-55 hours per week
  • I work 55-60 hours per week
  • I work over 60 hours per week

Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, writes:

The United States surpasses workaholic Japan in average hours. Dot-commers go 24/7. The family dinner has disappeared. The working poor are holding three and four jobs just to make ends meet.

We are a diligent nation—and that is good. God is pro-work (Genesis 2:5, 15; Proverbs 14:23). And while hard work has many benefits, left unchecked, relentless work can:

  • Drain us of energy
  • Leave us uptight
  • Rob us of irrecoverable moments with family and friends
  • Pull us away from God

What is the secret for finding rest in the midst of work? God tells us in Exodus:

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. Exodus 20:8-11 NLT

Biblical rest is not diversion, but cessation. It is trusting God enough to STOP my busy life and focus on Him. Biblical rest is believing, “God can do more in six days than I can do in seven.” It is finding rest for my body and rest for my soul.

This Sunday . . . STOP!

Refuse to get sidetracked by all the urgent things clamoring for your attention. Join the family of God for worship. Then pick a quiet place and take some time to reflect on what God said to you through the sermon. Rest—emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

MY PRAYER: Father, life moves at a frantic pace. Help me find true rest this Sunday as I rest in you.


“The United States surpasses workaholic Japan in average hours . . ." from Juliet Schor, Op-Ed New York Times, September 2, 2002