In honor of “I Love Lucy” day (October 15), I was reminded of one of my favorite episodes when Lucy and Ethel got jobs in a chocolate factory. They did well, until the conveyor sped up forcing them to hide chocolate in their mouths, hats, and clothes to keep up with the ever-increasing number and speed of chocolate coming at them.
While this is humorous to watch, it is painful to endure.
Many times, life comes at us faster than we can handle. Far too often, I have been guilty of over scheduling and watching the delicate balance disintegrate as I frantically tried to keep up. Valuable hours were filled to the brim with activities and when something unexpected happened, I worked faster and harder to keep up. When that was impossible, I tried to move things to adjust my schedule, effectively “hiding” them from view.
However, it is impossible to keep this up for long.
One of the first things to suffer was taking care of myself. Rather than taking a day off, I worked to catch up on things with every spare hour. This included late evenings that stretched into the wee hours of the morning. Even slowing down long enough take a walk was neglected. Eating on the run became normal, and emotions became frazzled and I wore myself out.
God intended that we take a time of rest to help us keep up with all that life can send our way. Taking an entire day off from our labor doesn’t seem to make sense on paper, but the value of “white space” in our calendars makes us more productive in the hours we do work.
I still struggle with multitasking and over-scheduling. Workaholics will understand my plight. But, since I have begun to intentionally schedule free time, I am more efficient overall. When the unexpected happens, there is room to adjust without needing to hide what can’t be handled. In addition to getting more done in less time, I feel more rested and less cranky.
“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working. This gives your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It also allows your slaves and the foreigners living among you to be refreshed.” (Exodus 23:12 NLT)
One benefit that God intended for Sabbath rest was to be a weekly time of rest and refreshment…for everyone involved. The Pharisees regulated what “rest” looked like to a fault…but Jesus got the root of the issue. Sabbath rest was for our good (Mark 2:27).
If you have to do so, schedule it. When you least expect it, life will speed up and times of rest and refreshment will be more needed than ever.
(Click here to take a break and have a few moments of laughter)