“Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”Leviticus 23:3
I have worked about ten years in jobs that have required me to be there before the sun ever thought about rising. I would glance over at my alarm clock and it seemed unhealthy to be getting up at 2:45am. I know people who have been doing this for years, but this was hard for me to fathom and get used to. My first job when I moved back to Phoenix required me to be there at 5:00am, which meant I was up around 4:15am. I got around 4 hours of sleep each night because I did not change the time I went to bed. I burned the candle on both ends but it caught up with me, and my bleary-eyed picture made it into the dictionary under the word “grouchy”. I hated this version of myself, but there seemed to be too much to do in the day and sleep took a back seat.
Several years later, I took a retail job which required me to wake up early and I again questioned why anyone would get up at such an hour. I would play with the kids and then hit the hay around 10:45pm and it seemed as if the moment I closed my eyes, my alarm clock went off and it was time to get up for work. I am not sure I ever got used to those early hours, and I detest getting up so early to this day. I have come to know the importance of a good night’s rest, and there is nothing like a sound 7-8 hours on the pillow. Although I was not getting much sleep at night working that retail job, I was falling asleep when I was stopped at a stoplight for more than 15 seconds. I seemed to always be exhausted, and I could never get enough rest, even on my days off. I had a recurring dream that I was running a race that I could never win because I was short of breath. I am not sure how many times I dreamt this, but it seemed as if I dreamt this every night.
I went to see my doctor, and I told her of my dream and my falling asleep at stop lights. She was concerned and sent me in for a sleep study, which is quite an interesting story on its own. I completed the study and they diagnosed me with Sleep Apnea and got me connected with a sleep machine. 4-5 hours on the sleep machine felt as though I had sleep a solid 8 hours. Although I did not get much more sleep, the quality of my sleep was amazing. I no longer fell asleep at stoplights and church, and I did not worry about raising my hand incorrectly during invitation time. I am grateful that I went to the doctor and got help, and I am thankful for a good night’s rest. I still would prefer not to get up early, and I am grateful for a job that does not require me to get up before the sun does.
God knows the importance of rest, and He gave us the example we should follow when He rested after creating our universe. Our Creator did not need to rest as He does not grow tired like man does, but He knew it was important for us to get rest. He created the Sabbath for a day of rest and worship for His creation. You can burn the candle at both ends, but you will soon find out that there will be nothing left when the two wicks meet in the middle. Rest is important for all of us, and we must take the day God has given us to rest from our labor. I still love a Sunday morning worshipping Him, and I love the nap after lunch. I am grateful for the rest He gives, and there is no rest like the rest you find in Him.
Are you burning the candle at both ends? Do you find yourself too busy that Sunday has become a “funday”? Are you taking at least one day each week to rest and worship? Are you taking the day to worship Him or is it filled with extras curricular activities that ill-prepare you for the week to come? May we take a day of rest that He has given us, and may we always find rest in Him for our weary souls.