Today was supposed to be my day off. It was not so much. It ended up being a day with meetings and crises and work, just like any other day. As a result, I am tired and kind of cranky. I know that I am not at my best with others when I am tired and feeling overextended. It feels like people are against me, like the world has taken up a divide and conquer strategy against me. Okay, that’s a little overdramatic, but hey, I’m tired.
This may seem like a ridiculous question, but how much of the world’s violence do you think comes from exhaustion? Seriously, people are at their worst when they’re tired. We don’t think as clearly. We’re off balance. We’re moody and adversarial. Extend this to a society that is overly busy, overworked, and overextended and you have a recipe for a community of people that lash out against one another, simply because they have been pushed to their limits. I don’t know. Maybe…
A lot of my churchy friends throw the word “Sabbath” around. It’s a good word. No one I know has any kind of strict Sabbath observance. They are usually referring to the practice of protecting one day from work. We use the word so much because we need some sort of theological excuse for taking care of ourselves. That seems sad. Rest, not just sleep, but real rest is supposed to be a part of the rhythm of our lives. Too often we neglect it and it effects our work, our relationships, and our health.
Perhaps the beginning of peace in the world is taking time out to rest from all of the places in life where we have conflict. Even in the most heated of conflicts, time is taken for a cease fire, always with the hope that a genuine peace might result. Sabbath is such a captivating theological idea because it seems so foreign. But maybe, in a violent world, all we need is a nap.