As the summer is winding down, vacation season is coming to a close. But many Americans won’t even take all their vacation time.
According to American Public Media, most Americans won’t take about nine days of their accrued vacation time.
“It’s partly out of fear,” reads the article. “Americans are afraid their bosses will think they’re lazy or that their job could get eliminated while they’re away. But not taking vacation matters.”
Women who don’t take regular vacations are anywhere from two to eight times more likely to suffer from depression and have a 50 percent higher chance of heart disease. For men, the risk of death from a heart attack goes up 30 percent, and American businesses spend $344 billion per year on stress-related health care costs, according to the article.
In the Genesis story when God created the world, He took a day to rest. Pastors take sabbaticals all the time.
So why do we think taking a break is lazy? Or do we think that we are so needed that the world will stop turning if we take time to rest?
Last I checked, God was the only one who kept the world on its axis.
But the most beautiful thing God says about rest is how He gives rest to our soul. Like the story of Mary and Martha, He doesn’t want us to wear ourselves out striving and working to please Him, but to simply sit and be with Him. To “be still and know that He is God.”
It reminds me of a song that I heard recently, “Come to Me,” that has come to be one of my favorites.
“Weary, burdened wanderer
There is rest for thee
At the feet of Jesus
in His love, so free
Listen to His message
Words of life, forever blest
O, thou heavy laden
Come to Me, come and rest
There is freedom, taste and see
Hear the call, ‘Come to Me’
Run into His arms of grace
Your burden carried, He will take
Bring Him all thy burdens
All thy guilt, and sin
Mercy’s door is open
Rise up and enter in
Jesus, there is waiting
patiently for thee
Hear Him gently calling,
‘Come, Oh, Come to Me.’”