Devotional: Rhythms of Work and Rest

Rhythms of Work and Rest

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…” Exodus 20:8-10 NASB

Have you ever attended a live performance of an orchestra, an opera, or a musical production? A cacophony of sound is emitted when all of the instruments are tuning up in an orchestra pit, before the performance starts. When the conductor raises the baton and a hush ensues, the audience awaits the beginning of the musical piece. Sometimes the tympani start; sometimes the stringed instruments begin the score. When the instrumental piece begins each instrument plays at just the right time. Musicians count measures and rest signs to be able to play their notes when they are “on” and rest when they are “off.” Musical scores indicate rest marks with whole note rests, half note rests, quarter note rests, etc.

Healthcare, at its best, works well when all of the parts play their part when they are “on,” and rest when they are “off.” As we consider goals and resolutions for the next year, have we scheduled some work-life balance days? Are we planning times to rest and reflect? Is it possible for us to set aside some time each week to have a rhythm of rest? Maybe it is not possible to have an entire day of rest. For some of us, we need to schedule rest time reminders in our calendars and smart phones.

Some of the most spiritual persons I know work when it is time to work, eat when they are hungry, and rest when they are weary. Our patients deserve our best selves. Our supervisors and peers deserve our best selves. We owe it to ourselves to be rested and ready for work. We work more efficiently as teams in our facilities when we are rested and refreshed…when we have had enough sleep…when we have intentionally rested.

Prayer: O God, You know how much stress we have in our overcrowded lives. You know our fully booked schedules and our tendency to keep working and working. Your Scriptures invite us and implore us to rest. Help us to take our cues from You to play our lives, our instruments, on cue. Please guide us in this next season to set aside times for strategic rest so that we can be “on” when we are supposed to be “on” and rested and ready when we need to be ready. Amen.