When I couldn’t work because of disabling back pain, I learned a difficult lesson. Sometimes we just need to do nothing. I still feel guilty about doing nothing. When I was growing up, if we sat on the couch too long my mom would say, “Can’t you find something to do?” That became the voice of God in my head. I memorized it. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4 KJV). God and my mother had the same expectation of me. Find something to do.
Like many of you, I operate with a sense of urgency. “Let’s get going.” I won’t apologize for being driven. It was my way of being dedicated. I didn’t appreciate that God also built rest into the rhythm of Christian piety. Not just any old rest, but a Sabbath rest; a time-out to think about God. “Tomorrow is a day of rest—a holy day dedicated to the Lord” (Exodus 16:23 GW). For me, even a Sunday off was a chance to work at something else when we got home from church. And I usually made my children work at it with me. Now I see that they don’t know how to rest either.
I don’t think I can be rehabilitated. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). I guess I’ll just rest in heaven.