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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

5 Benefits to Taking a Day

Rest.  This is what we are called to do once a week.  Yet so often I find that this is the commandment that gets pushed aside...the one where we chose to make excuse after excuse for not listening to.  This is the one that is often not taken seriously.

Remember the Sabbath by keeping it Holy... set apart. (Leviticus 23:3, Exodus 20:8, Deuteronomy 5:12-15) God commands this.  That is all we need to know.  And still the evidence of how much this benefits us is also clear.  Yet many times, we chose to ignore it.  

I think of the excuses I make for not taking a day of rest.  They include 'lack of time', 'just this once', 'Why can't I just finish this one task'...etc. etc.  These excuses are just that - excuses.  Yet they have no benefit for myself.  First and foremost this day of rest needs to be for God -- to be reminded of his greatness and His Holiness.  Within this, we need to be reminded that God made the Sabbath for us (Mark 2:27) --- it was His design for our weekly lives to have one day to take a break from the daily, hard work we commit to.  

If this day is meant for us, we know there is great benefit in taking this day.  Here are 5 Reasons why taking a day is beneficial:

1.  Refreshment.  Spending a day away from our daily tasks of work gives us a sense of refreshment for the new week ahead of us.  We are more prepared to beginning that Monday with a clear state of mind.  Refreshment can be found on this day in any way that works for you.  For some of us it could mean filling our day with family and friends.  For others it might mean spending the day enjoying a hobby or simply spending 'me' time.  Whatever it might be for you, find out what it is that refreshes you, awakens you, and gives you energy and take a day for exactly this.  (Read my post on Extrovert and Introvert Labels).  Be reminded as well that our number one refreshment comes from our Heavenly Father -- this day of rest is meant to dwell in that above all.  

2.  Relaxation. We all need significant times to relax.  By taking that one day specifically to do so, we no longer are carrying around feelings of guilt when we do choose to take time to relax during our week.  Having a day meant for relaxation is a guilt free way of embracing rest.  

3.  Focus on other days.  After spending this day of refreshment and relaxation the other days of work become more focused.  Knowing that you have a day coming up just for the purpose of rest, can give you motivation to work hard until that day.

4.  Purposeful Focus.  Taking a day away from the mundane tasks of laundry, cleaning, etc. gives a reminder of the true purpose behind these tasks.  In it of themselves, these tasks are meaningless.  The purpose behind them is what needs to drive our motivation.  By taking a day away from these neverending tasks, we are reminded that they do hold meaning and value, but they are also not everything.  Taking a day for rest brings us back to the true purpose behind our every day living and work.

5.  Time for Reassessment.  While this may not seem as a part of a day of rest, to me, spending some of this day reassessing my week behind me and my week to come allows me to be brought into this state of mind of peace and restfulness.  It is a way to look over how I valued my time that week and how I can better use my time in the coming week.  Questions I ask in my reassessment are simply things like 'What could I work on better this week?' , 'How can I use my time more wisely this coming week?' , 'What tasks do I need to focus on this week?' , etc.  This time of reassessment is a way to get my mind to fully rest as well.



I encourage you to think about taking a day of rest this week.  Take it seriously enough to plan for this day.  What would make a day of rest, restful for you so that you are better prepared for the week ahead?

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