A day of rest



He lay on the couch, his head covered by a pillow.

“Do you want to get up?” I asked gently.

“I don’t want to do anything.” My three-year-old rolled back and forth in an attempt to get comfortable, then gave up and scooted closer to me. I rubbed his back as he leaned against me and closed his eyes.

My little one had been struck by the stomach bug the night before, and he had lain listless on the couch for most of the day. I sat beside him, comforting him while we rested.

I always feel sad when my kids are sick, their energy stolen and their spirits subdued. I want to make them better instantly, but I know we must endure the symptoms until they subside.

Gone are the to-do lists, social outings and errand-running. We cuddle on the couch, watch the children’s favorite shows and focus on feeling better. In those moments, nothing else matters. And I realize that, even though I despise these dreaded illnesses, I appreciate slowing my pace to care for our family without worrying about the wants of the world.

Unfortunately, sometimes I neglect my own needs for rest; and I keep powering through my plan until an illness or injury halts my agenda.

Why is it difficult for me to listen to God’s quiet voice encouraging me to slow down?

Often, I fear I won’t have time or motivation to finish my tasks on time if I take a few moments to regroup.

However, God knows we need a respite from this world. After he created it, He himself took a break from His work.

Gensis 2:2-3 tells us, “On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.”

If rest is important to God, it should be important to us.

Life in this sinful world depletes us of our spiritual energy, and we need to restore it. A day of delighting in God’s blessings gives our bodies, minds and spirits a chance to replenish themselves.

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He advised him: “Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. You shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:8-10).

We honor God by resting regularly and devoting a day to Him. We attend Mass and learn how to live out His calling in our lives. We release ourselves from expectations and enjoy time with our loved ones.

We must prioritize the sabbath to keep it holy. When we neglect this day with God, we miss out on the blessings He provides during our down time. Blessings like a hike through the woods, a cookout with friends or games with our kids.

When we take a break from the busyness of this world and focus on the life God provides for us, we grow closer in our relationship with Him. When my little one was sick, I sat beside him instead of tending to my daily duties. As he regained his energy, our daily pace picked back up. But I carried with me the lesson I had learned during our time together: when I prioritized being present with my son, and set aside my worldly desires for the day, I was honoring God, fulfilling His purpose for my life and doing what truly matters most.