Come Apart and Rest
Don't all of us need those come-apart times? We're harried, overwhelmed, and tired, and our long list of must-do events keeps us awake or on edge. Here's a lesson I've learned—and it's not an original take-off on Jesus' words: Come apart and rest awhile or come apart.
Jesus, who was constantly surrounded by people, said to his disciples, "Come ye . . . apart . . . and rest for a while" (Mark 6:31, KJV).
I've noticed that the workaholic, high-energy people (and I'm one of them) seem to go and go and go. Maybe we think we don't need rest, but we're fooling ourselves. I saw this clearly when I was a pastor. I would work for long periods without any rest time, especially during the Christmas season when I stayed on the go almost every day until Christmas. Early January, however, was a terrible time for me. I got sick—nothing major, usually something like a cold or a nasty cough. Those little sicknesses sapped my energy for a week. I finally got the message my body had been trying to send me for years.
Here it is: If we don't come apart to rest and to rebuild our resources, eventually we come apart. In our culture, to be sick is all right. Acceptable. Who can blame us for not working if we're physically ill?
And if that's the way we want to earn our vacation from work, we can operate that way. But what a price to pay for a few days away from the daily hassles.
In 2011, after Shirley's health began to go downhill, I pulled back on speaking engagements, especially those that took me on the other side of the country. It was the right thing to do for her and for me. To my surprise, by doing less—that is, by taking time off—I ended up doing more. Or a better way to say it is that when I returned to work, I became more productive and efficient.
Regardless of your occupation or lifestyle, take this seriously: come apart when needed. Of course, if you opt not to take care of yourself, your body will shout, "Enough! I'm off work for a week!" And if you don't heed the lesson, eventually the body rebels and serious problems set in.