Binge Resting (a.k.a. Vacation)

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“Our society has adopted a pattern of 48 weeks of work and four weeks of rest.  We overwork for most of the year and then ‘binge rest’ for four weeks.  But this was not the pattern for which we were made.  We ‘need’ holidays because our normal lives are so out of balance.  The sustainable answer is not an annual holiday, but to get back to a biblical pattern of work and rest structured around a week.”

“It’s doubtful if holidays are good for us.  Eight out of ten people work extra hours before going away.  One in three finds the days before a holiday the most stressful of the year.  Most say they feel as stressed as ever by the end of their first week back.  When your pattern is 48 weeks work and four weeks rest then your holiday is everything.  People speak of working for their holidays.  Christmas letters typically consist of holiday itineraries.  That is the sum of people’s lives.  Life has become week after week of toil for two weeks in the sun.”

“We not only spread the work-rest pattern over a year instead of a week.  We spread it over a lifetime.  We overwork for maybe 40 years to set up a retirement of leisure.  Neither the overwork nor the retirement is healthy or godly.  The Bible doesn’t recognize the category of retirement.  Work is to be part of life throughout life.  Clearly the amount of work we can do will decrease as our capacities diminish.  Nor should we equate work with employment.  People may retire from employment, but still have years of active service left to give to the church or community.”

After I read an outstanding book, I’ve often thought, “I wish I had tons of cash so I could  get 100 copies of this book to give to anyone who would read it.”  This book, The Busy Christian’s Guide to Busyness by Tim Chester is one of those books.  I said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: get this book.  (And yes, if I did have tons of money, I’d give this and other books to our readers!)

shane lems

2 thoughts on “Binge Resting (a.k.a. Vacation)”

  1. That’s an interesting idea. It feels like any talk of spurning to 50+ hour workweek makes you seem “lazy”, when really it’s sensible according to how we are designed.

    I’m learning that lesson this year as I’ve fallen into a habit of sleeping 4 hours a night 5 days a week because of my busy work schedule, but still carrying some work into the weekends. That’s a really common pattern, but our bodies weren’t made for that physically or spiritually! Hopefully I’ll figure something out – and I’ll have to check out that book.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Thanks for the note; sounds like you need to read this book! If/when you check out the book and blog on it, feel free to mention it here so we can read your comments.


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