Busy-ness Is Not Holiness
By Annah Matthews
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:2-3 ESV
My dad had four daughters so we learned how to do tough jobs around the house from an early age. I frequently climbed up on the roof with my dad to clean leaves out of the gutters. I helped stack firewood for the wood stove and learned how to push mow our yard. I often raked leaves in the front yard until I had blisters on my hands and once a year we had to clean out and organize the tools and equipment in the barn.
Anytime I needed some money, I had to work for it through odd jobs here and there and earn an allowance. Matter of fact, when I was in 5th grade I won the award for the week at camp as the most organized camper. So to say that my parents taught me a good work ethic is an understatement.
Fast forward 25 years later and I am still a worker bee. Part of it is my personality and part of it is the strong work ethic instilled in me growing up. I make no apologies for it because, quite honestly, it is the way God created and designed me to be used for Him.
However, I have to be careful to not let my Type A become overbearing or use it as an excuse to be self-righteous. And I also have learned that it is difficult for me to sometimes stop, to breathe, and to rest.
When the Lord God created the heavens and the earth and filled it with His Creation He knew that rest would be needed. A holy Sabbath. A day set apart to focus and reflect upon Him. Rest was created.
Not because our Heavenly God needed to kick back His feet due to exhaustion, but because He knew His creation would need it. Through the dying and springing seasons of plants and trees; through the hibernation cycles of wildlife; through the circadian rhythms of our bodies. God has created rest for us and it is a good thing from our Maker.
When we spin our wheels and find ourselves frustrated because we just don’t have enough time to do it all, it’s time to step back into the arms of our Creator. The one who Created rest. The one who knows us better than we know ourselves. The one who woos us to just stop for a moment.
When we overwork ourselves, leave no margin in our lives for rest or fun, and wake up exhausted from our schedules and daily grind, we find that we look no different than the rest of the world.
What in your life do you need to say no to, so that you can say yes to rest? What is the Lord asking you to stop so that you can enjoy some down time, a Sabbath, a time to rest? If God created rest for us then why are we not honoring Him and His creation by making times in our lives to slow down?
It’s not easy for me to stop and rest but I am learning that taking time to rest, enjoying time with my family, and leaving margin in my schedule is a way to honor my Creator. God is teaching me daily that being busy is not the same as being holy, even if the work I am doing is for the Lord.
Being holy is being set apart. Doing things differently than the rest of the world and not being enslaved to a schedule that God never intended for me to maintain is a learning process. But I am slowly embracing the concept of rest, margin, and enjoying free time because it is an important part of being the woman He designed me to be.
Sisters, it is time to get off the hamster wheel of schedules that we can’t maintain and start looking for gaps in our calendars that we set aside as rest. Let’s look for ways that we can be more intentional to build some white space into our calendar and determine that we will honor our Creator through Sabbath rest. Don’t let shame or guilt rob you of the rest God Your Father created for you. Embrace it, He made it for you!
Creator God, thank You for the gift of rest and for knowing us better than we know ourselves. Allow us to find time in our lives for rest and honor You by making margins in our lives. Forgive us when we think that busy-ness is the same as holiness. Allow us to be set apart so that our lives reflect the good work You have designed in us.
To dig deeper into finding time for rest and creating margin in your life consider Priscilla Shirer’s 5-week study Breathe: Making Room for Sabbath.
For more encouragement, visit Annah at Things Mama Told Me.
© 2020 Annah Matthews. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 24 March 2023.