We’re heading into the weekend. It’s a new month Sunday. Maybe you’re mourning your unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions.
Time for a pep talk.
Maybe you didn’t get done in January what you wanted to get done because you needed a break.
Maybe you needed some do-nothing time.
Maybe life isn’t about getting stuff done.
This is a difficult-to-swallow prescription for a Minnesota-born girl with Scandinavian and Germanic blood in her veins.
Sloth is sinful.
It’s one of the seven deadly sins you know! I’m sure you know. Anyone’s who’s seen Morgan Freeman crack the serial killer’s code in the movie Se7en knows how deadly sloth can be.
While wasting one’s talents with inaction may be unfortunate if not deplorable, I maintain there’s a difference between sloth and rest.
God created us to rest as much as He created us to work.
For eight hours a day, our bodies are rendered immobile by sleep. If one goes long enough without sleep, one dies, that’s how important sleep is.
If God created us to rest for eight hours a day, he certainly intends for us to rest at other times, too.
There are many examples of this yin and yang (if you’ll permit me to mix my spiritual metaphors).
We breathe in. We breathe out.
The sun rises. The sun sets.
Plants grow in spring and summer. They freeze in autumn and winter.
We are born. We die.
Rest is actually a gift. To feel guilty for taking a break is wasted emotion. We should relish rest, appreciate it for the gift that it is. Rest reinvigorates us for the work ahead.
Watching the clouds drift by is important work. Reading fiction is a creative distraction. Binge-watching HBO television series is, well, it’s sort of inconsequential but not completely worthless. You get my point.
So if you’ve gotten through January without accomplishing anything in the first twelfth of the new year, if you’re wrapping up your week thinking you were entirely too unproductive to deserve a whole weekend of lethargy, I think you’re being too hard on yourself.
You deserve a break sometimes, too. Be fully present for your rest. Savor your inertia.
My work is hereby done. Time to take a break.