The school holidays are back!
Nothing like a good, long break. Growing up, semester breaks were the one and only thing I looked forward to. And the best part? No need for alarms! I always looked forward to the grand plans of the holidays. But the excitement would never last beyond the first few weeks of holidays.
And now that I’m working, vacation days are even more valuable: Endless days spent lazing around, playing games and catching up on shows.
But … Is it just me, or does too much rest lead to restlessness?
I think we can agree that most people don’t actually like to study or work. Some would go as far as to term it as a necessary evil – something you have to do even when you don’t like it. Since labour feels like a curse, we see rest as the solution.
But did you know that work is actually a blessing?
Work was God’s idea right from the beginning, even before sin came into the picture. Work was part of the paradise that Adam and Eve lived in. But the Fall changed everything.
“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17b-19)
Let’s be clear, what was cursed wasn’t work – but productivity. Work was meant for our fulfilment. Sin is what makes work awful to get through.
Passion without purpose is sprinting ahead without a destination in mind or worse – to the wrong destination.
Consider marriage: Adam and Eve’s relationship was also affected after the Fall, and we are still suffering the consequences even now – marriage is hard work. But does that mean marriage is no longer enjoyable and we should avoid it? By no means!
Marriage has its tough moments, but it is still a gift from God. When guided by His principles, it is fulfilling and fruitful.
The same goes for work and our studies. God loves to see diligence in his people (2 Timothy 2:6, Proverbs 12:24). So if work is a blessing, then perhaps an extended period of rest isn’t quite the answer to cure the drudgery we feel.
In fact, too much rest produces restlessness. Yes, rest is important. But we were never wired to do nothing (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).
So how do we enjoy work? I think it starts by knowing our purpose in life. People often say we should find our passion, and then let that passion guide what we do in life.
But I believe passion without purpose is sprinting ahead without a destination in mind or worse – to the wrong destination.
Before his conversion, Paul spent a life trying to be the perfect Pharisee. He was zealous about persecuting and imprisoning Christians.
So while Paul was a passionate man, he was passionate about the wrong things. After his conversion at Damascus, he finally found his purpose. And it produced profound change: From a man who only knew how to take lives, he became a man who gave his life to the Church and Christ.
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9)
Being passionate is great, but it is your purpose that will determine your destination. So what is your purpose in life? You need to find it and pursue it passionately.
Don’t spend your holidays solely on a Netflix binge. The best thing you can do this June is to reflect on what your life counts for. What exactly are you living for? What do you hope to achieve at the end of your life?
If you seek God about it with all your heart, He will answer you.