“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
God meant us to lead a balanced life. After He created the heavens and the earth, He set aside a day of rest. He didn’t do this because He needed to rest — He’s God! He did it to remind us that we need to rest. In the book of Deuteronomy, certain times of the year are aside to celebrate and remember what God has done — Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. The book of Leviticus designates a “jubilee year” (every 50th year) when even the fields are to lie fallow. Human beings need a mixture of waking and sleeping, working and resting, exercising and relaxing, to remain healthy.
These days we seem to have forgotten God’s plan. Computers and cell phones keep up connected to work every moment of the day. Studies reveal that about 1/3 of us don’t get enough sleep, and 1/2 of us don’t take all of our paid vacation days in a given year.
Of course, some seasons of life are naturally busier than others. My life today, as a retiree, allows me much more free time than I had as a working mother of two. However, even during those busy times, we need to keep a balance. We need to set boundaries. We need to prioritize and learn to focus on the things that are truly “needful.”
Jesus, the perfect man, was able to do this. He led a busy life teaching, preaching and healing. He allowed Himself to be interrupted by that which was truly urgent; but He also made time for prayer, rest and being alone with His Father. It is not easy, and we’ll never manage as well as He did, but it is possible.
Robert Fulghum in his essay, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, put it this way:
“Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.”
Keep your life in balance. Be discerning. Take time for the needful things.
For more on the book of Ecclesiastes, see these posts: