We are busy people. Work, responsibilities, even our own hobbies can wear us down. Every one of us needs to take time to rest.
According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing games with some local boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.
Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, “Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bow implies.”
The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, “If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”
You and I are a lot like that. That’s why we all need to take time to rest.
Leonardo da Vinci excelled as a painter, sculptor, poet, architect, engineer, city planner, scientist, inventor, anatomist and philosopher. You would think he would have had little time for something as “unproductive” rest. But hear what he said:
“Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment…Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen.”
Perhaps the most productive thing you can do from time to time is to step away, recharge and refocus. Then you may return with renewed energy and creativity.
It is interesting that in the Genesis account of creation, the Scriptures say that after creation was complete God “rested from all His work” (Genesis 2:3). Perhaps we should take that example seriously ourselves. Set aside time regularly to relax physically and renew yourself emotionally and spiritually. Do what it takes to get a good night’s rest. Occasionally, take a step further away by taking a quick trip to enjoy life a little. You might find that, though the work is still waiting on you when you return, you are now in a much better place to do it effectively.
PRAYER: “Thank you Lord for giving me work to do. Help me to keep myself physically, spiritually and emotionally strong so that I might do well that which has been entrusted to me. Amen.”