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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

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What taking a break truly means...

In the merry-making of the season, everyone is in such a rush that we forget to pay attention to the issues that needs paying attention to. The month of December is such a busy month for Christians and non-Christians alike and it usually takes up all your energy and time. There are always things to do ; the houses are cleaned and white washed, cakes are waiting to be made, meals, many of them and for those not celebrating Christmas, there are vacation and holiday travel issues. On the whole, the season brings everyone in on one mad rush.

In the midst of it all, can we find a minute to spare - for ourselves. Can we step aside from the circus ring just for a moment and sit down. Can we let ourselves go, tear ourselves away from everything that needs our attention and slow down - just for that minute?

Household chores

Human bodies are not meant to be abused the way they are being abused right now. We are not cut out for 24/7 work or partying. We are not meant to go on binges of drinking, eating or not exercising. We are expected to rest our bodies, our souls and take a break once in a while. If we don't, then the next stage will bring complications that are both serious and even life-threatening. Once a week, we are supposed to take a rest - that's why the Jews keep the Sabbath on Saturday and Christians on Sunday - their day of rest. On Sabbath Day, the Jews do not cook and engage in general household chores. They are not expected to for that is their day of rest. Similarly, Jews were commanded to give the land a rest every seven years. Then only the land yielded the kind of harvests expected of it. The basics of the sabbatical concept is found in the book of Genesis in the Bible and is applicable to men and even the animals who must be given a break. The weekend as a concept came from the Sabbath concept which encouraged the people to take a rest from the work week.

College professor are given a 'sabbatical' every seven years, to take a break, travel and conduct research. has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the UK, there's a growing trend of companies giving staff a sabbatical career break.

Rest is vital for each of us, enabling us to be re-charged and re-energized. Whether from busy seasonal chores or everyday work, our bodies and our souls benefit from taking a break. You don't really have to cease from work ; just a moment will sometimes do. We need to pass on the tradition to the young - teach them the importance of ceasing from all work once in a while and spending a moment in time doing literally nothing.

Glorious moment

Granted, the ancient world was not as busy as ours and it was easy to cease from all work but some may wonder out loud, can it be done now? With all our stress related daily routines, deadlines waiting to be kept and the never-ending chores of work, it is easy not to find the time. It is easy to get caught in the madness, the rush of the busy moment. But that's exactly when you need to walk away and catch your moment of doing nothing.

We have to find the time to smell the roses. Watch children dance in the sun. Smile at the world as it goes forth in the glorious moment of living. If only you pause to look outside your window, you will see the wonder of the process we call living. Find the time to connect with a loved one, the children, an old relative desperate for the pleasure of your company. Taking a break also means nourishing someone's soul in the process. This season, let us do something different - let us consciously spend that moment doing nothing important, not taking decisions that affect our lives and others but find the joy of life in a moment you will want to cherish.

 

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