I would venture that most of us have more on our to-do list than we can possibly get done. And then there are the interruptions that come–the things that never get on the list, but still demand our time and attention.
Many of us assume that in order to get more done, we need to work more hours. Which is true, up to a point. After a while, we get so tired that we become less efficient. But after how long?
Studies in factories long ago pointed to a truth that we’ll also find in Scripture. Workers who worked for 21 days with no break were compared to those who worked for 21 days, but with every 7th day off (work six, rest one). Who got more done, with fewer errors? The people who took a day of rest.
In writing about Sabbath, I’ve been more aware of status updates and other things that show me who the Sabbath-keepers are. Author Liz Curtis Higgs often comments on Facebook about Sabbath. Eugene Peterson, professor, writer, bible translator, is also a Sabbath keeper. Interestingly, these two authors are incredibly prolific, both having written dozens of books. How on earth do they find the time to write so much (not to mention traveling to speak all over the world)? I wonder if the body of work each of these two has created is related to the fact that they both know how to take a day of rest?
I worked on Saturay this weekend but sunday was a day of rest–church, family, reading, watching a movie. I know that today, Monday, will be a productive day because I am rested, energized, and excited to be back at work.
You do not lose productivity by resting, you gain it. And you gain so much more–you enter what Rabbi Heschel called “the sanctuary of time.” You get to open the gift of Sabbath.