On Ants…

“And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning – the sixth day…”

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 1:31 & 2:2

Sometimes I see things in ways that surprise me when I see them. This morning as I was driving into work an sitting at a red light, I was watching all the cars drive towards whatever destination they had in mind…and all I saw were a bunch of ants. Not literally mind you…but the vision of ants was there, nonetheless. I couldn’t help thinking that as humans we are a lot like ants. We hurry and scurry around going in every direction we possibly can, and I wondered: Why? Why are we in such a hurry to do all the things? Why do we pack our lives so full of activities? Why are we so driven? Why…well, I had lots of why questions running through my head as I sat waiting for my own red light to turn green so I could scurry on my way.

Of course, I can’t seem to think about how busy we all are, and BTW, I am talking to myself as much as I am to anyone, I tend to think about the above verses in Genesis. It reminds me when I am so busy that I am tired all the time that God took the time to rest. Which tells me that if God took time off to rest it must be important. So…I have to ask myself and I hope you are asking the same question to yourself: Why am I so reluctant to take time off to do nothing, or do something enjoyable or do whatever brings rest into our lives? Why?

I think it has something to do with FOMO or the fear of missing out. We feel we MUST be involved in everything. I also wonder, for those who tend toward workaholism…if we just don’t know how to rest. If we feel like we have to be doing something that feels productive even as we are exhausted and are not doing our best work. If we aren’t then we are just wasting time. Because that is the thing. When we get to the point we are not taking the time to rest and are continuing to scurry around like a colony of ants, we will get to the point of diminishing returns. We aren’t working at our best because we are so tired!!! Rest is not wasting time. In fact, rest is productive in a different way.

Think about that for a minute. I’ll wait.

There is a lot that a lack of rest and sleep does to the human body. When we are tired, we forget things. We miss steps in the processes we might be working on. We lose stuff. We get grumpy and some even get angry when they are tired. We don’t think straight, we lose concentration. We are more likely to have accidents. And from a health perspective, our immune system doesn’t work as well so we are more likely to get sick, we are more prone to develop diabetes, gain weight, and our blood pressure could become elevated if you are getting less than five hours of sleep per night. Not getting rest, especially not getting enough sleep, increases our risk for heart disease, and effects our balance and it even impacts our libidos.

Hmmmm…it would seem rest in all its forms, is important to our overall health and well-being.

And yet…we don’t take time away to rest. We also don’t typically get enough sleep. I would encourage all of us to seriously think about all our activities and what we might be able to stop doing or delegate to someone else. What are we doing that in all honesty we dread doing? Think about it and then stop what doesn’t bring joy.

Most of all, take time to rest, relax, and enjoy this precious life you have been given.


Pastor Beth

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