Updated: Nov 13, 2021
In the Bible, God created the heavens and the earth in six days and then rested on the seventh. Over the years, it had always struck me as odd that an all-powerful, infinite God would need to take a breather after making the universe.
The falsehood with that reasoning can be found in understanding the primary purpose of rest. It is not because someone needs to take a breather. Don't get me wrong; if you work hard at something continuously, you will become fatigued (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) which will require you to regain your strength and stamina.
However, the primary purpose of rest is not recuperation.
It is reflection.
At the very end of Genesis 1, it reads, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day." He took the time to look out at the fruits of His labor and gave it a seal of approval. In other words, the toil had purpose. The goal of His rest was to acknowledge that His work led to something good.
I wonder what our world would look like if more people operated this way. What if we mixed six parts of work to one part of rest as a ratio for our lives? That could be six days of working a job to one day of gratitude for that job. It could driving to accomplish six goals followed by ceasing taking joy in completing those goals. It even might be applying oneself to a major, life-changing project for a six-year period before pulling away from that labor to synthesize the long-term benefits of such a journey (in professional circles, that is often called a sabbatical).
You might not feel tired after completing your "six parts." You might feel like you have the energy to shoot for another six before pulling off the side of the road for the night. But reflecting on the REASON you work is just as important as the work itself. Identifying and appreciating the great good that comes from your effort fills your soul with an even greater sense of purpose and passion.
Do you want to accomplish more without always feeling burnt out? Consider taking a seventh of your time to stop and reflect.