Some years ago it occurred to me that I would end up sleeping 1/3 of my life away. And, even more significant; that this would be normal and good. In other words, God designed me this way. Here is the reasoning: 33% of 78.89 years (the average life span of the American male) is 26. If I live long enough, I could literally end up sleeping for 26 years.
Add to that the fact that Saturday is a hallowed day of rest and (do the math: 1/7 of 78.79 = 11.25 and 2/3 of 11.25―because I already accounted for 8 hours of sleep on Saturdays―is 7.5) so I get another 7 1/2 years of officially approved rest. That's 33 1/2 years of rest in one lifetime. That's equal to the total number of years that Jesus lived on this earth. And God designed the world in such a way that I get to rest that much in my lifetime.
Not to mention the time we need to spend eating (more than 3 1/2 years of our life), which pushes our downtime to 37 years. To discover enough other reasons to rest, we wouldn't have to get very creative at all either (sickness, holidays, vacations, playing sports, watching TV, Sunday afternoon naps, retirement, etc.) in order to push the expected downtime to be well above half of our lives. And that's assuming that we work cradle to grave, which we don't. How much time does the average American boy spend doing chores before the age of 13? Probably not very much. Perhaps we don't even work a 1/3 of the time during our lives here on earth. And I'm not even making any room in these formulas for laziness.
This realization shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who knows the Bible well. In the Law of Moses we read that God forbade the Jews from severity in their expectations of their workers. "Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor; but shalt fear thy God" (Leviticus 25). Certainly the worker should be doing his best, but the manager should be equally generous, magnanimous, patient, kind, and lenient on his crew. This is a reflection of God's spirit toward us. We are not dumb beasts of burden to be whipped and driven to exhaustion. I mean, if God chose to do that He would be well within His rights. But it is not in His nature to relish such methods.
And so, to the point. Take some time off. It's November. The year is drawing to a close. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years on the horizon, it's fitting that you trim out some of your usual routines. Slow down a bit and spend a little extra time in conversation with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. There will be additional tasks to complete anyway; tasks that are not part of our normal routines throughout the year. So, take a break. Take it easy. Rest awhile. I plan to do the same.
In fact, this is to be the last blog entry on davetalley.com for 2021. If it crosses your mind, pray for me. And, I will pray for you. Are you tired? I am. Not sleepy, no. Not physically drained. But emotionally wrung out. Life has a way of doing that, doesn't it? We need rejuvenation. It's just the nature of reality. We need a change of pace and a change of scenery from time to time. We need a still and quiet place to recharge. We all need it. Even those who are in denial and insist that they're doing just fine―they need it too.
Allow me to leave you with one of the most puzzling verses in all the Bible. In Exodus 31:17 God (while explaining the reason for the Sabbath Day) said, "It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed." How can an omnipotent God experience refreshment? I don't know. But that's what it says. Did He need it? I assume that He did not. Did He take it? Yes. And in doing so He set an example for us. This rest is a gift to us. A gift from God. And to accept it is an act of faith. We enter into His rest and trust that it is best. Rather than perpetual motion and endless activity, we stop our industriousness and leave things in the hands of the One who never slumbers nor sleeps.
Do that. Take a holy chill pill. Calm down. R-E-L-A-X. It's OK. God's got you. There will be work to do later. And when it comes, hop to it. But just take some time. Take a break. It'll do you good.
God willing, I hope to write to you again in January, 2022.