A Christian Perspective on Leisure — Part 2

A Christian Perspective on Leisure — Part 2 May 14, 2012

We have to work hard to relax these days, don’t we? Aundrea and I spent some time last week making plans for our family vacation this summer. And when the scheduled dates arrive, we’ll spend even more time—and money and energy—packing, driving, eating fast food, negotiating peace agreements between children, adjusting plans, recreating, seeing the sites, relaxing, returning home, unpacking, and recovering. But oh, will it ever be worth it! We’ll come home refreshed and restored… and with a heap of great memories.

That’s exactly what God designed leisure to do. Leisure restores the soul and produces a harvest of internal, spiritual fruit. Genesis 2:3 says: “God blessed the seventh day.” What does that mean?

We can gain some insight from the two prior blessings God pronounced during the Creation Week. On Day Five, God addresses the birds and creatures in the sea. Genesis 1:22 reads: “God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply….’” Similarly, on Day Six, God addresses humankind: “God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…’” (1:28). Notice how both of these prior blessings pertain to fertility and fruitfulness? The significance of God’s blessing on the seventh day is the same, except the fruitfulness applies to the realm of soul and spirit rather than the realm of physical procreation. God means for our lives to be punctuated by periods of leisure for the purpose of personal, spiritual fruitfulness. This is what Jesus meant when He said: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

Have you ever noticed it’s during times of leisure that we are often most aware of God’s presence and most inclined to draw near to Him? Camping, fishing, watching a sunset, celebrating with family and friends, reading a poem, attending the symphony… This is what it means that “God blessed the seventh day.” God designed leisure as fertilizer for the soul.

So if you’re feeling weary and parched inside, take a break. Keep the Sabbath. God blessed it for you for that very purpose. Take some time for leisure, and let God restore your soul.