Where I live, this weekend heralds the unofficial start of summer: the Victoria Day long weekend. The major north-south highway that is just a few kilometres from here will be plugged with vehicular traffic making its way to and from the cottages that populate the many lakes of what Ontario calls “Cottage Country”. People will be breaking out the shorts and the sandals, irrespective of the weather. But opening up the cottage can be a fair bit of work. There’s cleaning and raking and so many other little tasks that need to be done in order for enjoyment to take place.
Many people, though, will stay home, preferring to mark the long weekend with yard improvements and maintenance. This is the time when nurseries and home renovation stores do a booming business.
Here’s a question to ponder: how often does a long weekend, for you, include rest? The idea behind statutory holidays is to give workers time off from their paid labour, to be sure; but whether or not we include time off from our unpaid labour is our own responsibility.
As human beings, we were created not for constant work, but for a cycle of work and rest. When God made the world, he made it in six days, and rested on the seventh. This is not so much a scientific statement as it is a theological statement: the God of the universe, who is all-powerful, so believes in the value of rest that he himself took a day off.
So why wouldn’t you?
We live in a culture that values busyness. But the church, we are reminded, is called to be counter-cultural.
By all means, enjoy your cottage, enjoy your back yard, enjoy whatever this weekend holds for you…but take one day off from things that mustbe done. I recommend that day be Sunday, so you can worship God in community and share fellowship with others. See you in church!
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him” (Psalm 62.1, NIV).