By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. – Genesis 2:2
You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest. – Exodus 34:21
My family knows it’s a high compliment when I call someone “useful.” I value usefulness. I value work. I’m a very hard worker. But I’m not very good at nothing.
You see, it takes a lot to slow me down. In this case, it took nearly six straight weeks of health struggles. My body and mind were spent, and I had gotten to point of continuous clumsiness and mind-numbing stupidity. I couldn’t function, and I couldn’t think.
Saturday afternoon I finally admitted to my husband and son that I needed a day of nothing. “I’d like to see you try,” my son chided. “Let’s see how long this lasts,” my husband chimed in.
Sunday morning came all too early. I had been up coughing with asthma for much of the night, and so I opted to stay home and watch our church service via livestreaming. I made an easy lunch for my family, and then did something I haven’t done in possibly a couple of decades: I sat on the couch reading a book the rest of the afternoon.
I didn’t do chores. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t cook dinner. I sat on the couch for hours underneath my comfy blankie. At the Thai restaurant where my husband treated me for dinner, I managed to keep my head from falling into my plate of red curry. This represented the extent of my efforts for the rest of the day.
Then my husband rented a Jane Austen movie, and I sat – just sat – safely underneath my protective comfy blankie. And then I went to bed and did something I haven’t done well in weeks: I slept without coughing.
No doubt my husband and son see a direct correlation between my lack of exertion and my lack of coughing. For once, I won’t argue. Clearly I had been ignoring my body’s many attempts to communicate its need for true rest.
Years ago I remember enjoying a day with a book or a day doing crafts. I remember doing things I enjoyed for extended periods, rather than sandwiching them between appointments and deadlines. Where have those days gone? Did they disappear amid omnipresent technologies that hound and guilt us from hitting our reset buttons?
God modeled the concept of rest not because He grows weary (Isaiah 40:28) but because He knew we would. The concept of a Sabbath provides us an opportunity to recharge our spiritual and physical batteries as we worship, pray, receive instruction, enjoy fellowship, reflect and kick back from the stresses of the week. It is evidence of God’s infinite wisdom and mercy.
I enjoyed my Nothing Day. I intend to enjoy more of them. In God’s plan, my day of nothing helped me accomplish a significant something: I am finally healing. To Him be the glory.