God’s Health Plan – Intentional Leisure
You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.
Exodus 34:21 ESV
God’s health plan includes taking regular and occasionally, lengthy, times of leisure.
That may seem unusual, even disagreeable, but it’s true. Not only is it okay to relax, it’s absolutely essential to authentic Christian living. “Intentional Leisure” is vital to keeping a healthy relationship with the Lord and with others. God created you to enjoy yourself and your life without feeling guilty or unspiritual.
Sometimes we can forget that God rested. It wasn’t that God rested because he had scheduled to work seven days and finished early. God’s rest was an intentional rest. God planned to rest on the seventh day. This is the important concept to grasp: Rest – or leisure – should be a part of your life. If you are not intentionally planning time to rest, you are not honoring God’s plan for your life!
Times of leisure are part of a natural, God-designed continuum that travels from hard work to relaxation. Exodus 34:21 reminds us to rest our body, mind and soul.
Now, leisure isn’t the same as laziness or sloth, as some might have you believe. Intentional rest is a planned, practical approach to making sure you are honoring God’s model for rest in your life.
Five things to remember as you honor God and rest:
- Spend time with your family even when you are caught up with all the demanding work.
- Go home on time so that you can kiss your children goodnight.
- Choose time to leave the housework and spend some time alone praying, worshiping.
- Develop the space you need to regroup and rebuild your thoughts and ideas so that you can be effective for His kingdom.
- Plan your rest. Intentional rest requires good planning and being intentional about it – not simply relying on accidental or happenstance circumstances to create your leisure opportunities.
Today’s One Thing
Allow moments of leisure to transform the challenges you face today into times of renewed strength. Choose one of the ideas from the list above to get you started.