Faith / Money & Finances / Personal Struggles

America: All Work and No Play

Are you a workaholic?  Do you have trouble making time for fun?  I recently read a couple articles on Americans and time off.

“Americans do not take all their vacation days, even though they think they need a holiday more this year than last.

Photo:Lee Wag

And nearly a third of workers who do take a break check in with work every other day and some keep in touch hourly, according to a new survey,”  (Reuters, Need a vacation?)  Another disturbing statistic states that, “15% of Americans take NO time off and 61% of us admit to doing work while on vacation,” (CBS News, By the numbers:The American Vactation)  So what makes us feel like we have to be machines?  It’s common knowledge that people perform better when they take regular breaks;  not only daily breaks from work but long stretches of time of to refresh the mind, body and spirit.

Photo:Lode Van de Velde

We have all heard of the month long holidays that Europeans get yearly – which is pretty much the standard over there.  But here in America, the average worker gets 16 days a year.  The problem?  Many Americans don’t even take the time off allotted to them.

Do you have trouble scheduling fun activities or vacations?  Do you need to be more intentional about taking time off?  Most things don’t just happen, they have to be planned.   As Christians we can take our cue from the Bible.  We know that God gave man the Sabbath as a day to rest from all his work.  He obviously knows, since He created us, that our bodies need down time.

 In the old testament God also appointed seven Feasts or Festivals for the Israelites to celebrate yearly:  The Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of Firstfruits, The Feast of Weeks, The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles.

These times of celebration were to point to God’s faithfulness and provision for His people.  They also were prophetic, in the fact that ,they point directly to the redemptive work of Christ, who died for our sins on the Cross, was buried and rose from the dead.      I beleive that one reason God desired for his people to take time off, was so that they would learn to trust Him as their provider.

Sometimes we fear taking time off because of issues with job security, lost revenue or coming back to a pile of work.  How then can we be trusting God?  He is sovereign over all.

Photo:Petr Kratochvil

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all,” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12).  When we trust in God for our provision we honor Him.  So lets bring our fears to The Lord Jesus and lay them down at the Cross.  This will help you to grow in your spiritual walk in addition to making you more productive at work.  What a Win – Win situation!


References:  New York Times, To Stay on Schedule Take a Break.   Reuters, Need a Vacation?  CBS News, By the numbers: The American Vacation.  Got Questions:  What are the different Jewish Festivals in the Bible.  INC, Why Americans Just Won’t Take Time Off.