Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Impressions pre-reset: 420826 Clicks pre-reset: 872

Keeping the Faith - Let Your Soul Catch Up

ronniemcbrayer300 maroonKENTUCKY (9/1/13) - The first Labor Day celebration was observed in New York City in 1882. It was not intended to be the official end of summer. It was a movement to honor “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” A bit more than a decade later, Labor Day became a National Holiday.

Not many years later, it became evident that the American worker was such an exceptional and efficient creature, that work hours would soon be reduced to mere shadows of their former oppression. For example, economist John Mayhard Keynes, in the teeth of the Great Depression, predicted that technological advancements would soon lead to a 15-hour work week.

In the mid-1960s, congressional leaders boldly predicted a two-day work week by the year 2000. That prediction has apparently only rung true for congressional leaders, as the average time workers spend on the job has ballooned over the years to nearly 50 hours per week.

Meanwhile, it is well known that our peers in Europe and other “developed” countries, enjoy bountiful quantities of leisure time (on average putting in 400 fewer annual work hours than Americans), while enjoying equal levels of productivity. Working more hours simply hasn’t translated to greater production or higher levels of satisfaction, and the predictions of “less work more rest,” is a farce for today’s laborers.

And while we mostly recognize the need to protect our health by eating right, staying hydrated, exercising, and the like, Americans are notorious for ignoring the body’s need for intentional times of rest. More so, we ignore our mental, emotional, and spiritual need for rest.

In the book of Genesis, the ancient writer says that on that final day of the first week, God rested. Was God tired? No, God set an example by abstaining from his creative work, and pausing to enjoy it. The word for rest, used in those Genesis accounts, can be translated “to soulify” or “to enhance one’s soul.” More practically it means “to catch one’s breath” or to “renew the spirit.” So when we pause to catch our breath, to renew our spirit, or recharge our souls, it is an imitation of God – it is worship.

Lettie Cowman, a devotional writer from a century ago, illustrates this so well with one of her stories from Africa. She wrote about an Englishman who was exploring the deepest jungles of the continent, traveling like British royalty. He had brought with him fine wines, his favorite foods, tons of books and parchments, furniture and clothing.

He had so much that he had to hire an army of strong men from the local villages to portage all this material through the jungle. On the first day of his grand safari he pushed the laborers at an exhausting, God-forsaken pace. He wanted to cover as much distance as possible, and he did exactly that.

As he lounged in his tent that evening, he concluded that if such a pace could be kept, why, he would see most of the continent, and his journey would be a quick one. But on the second morning, the hired Africans refused to move. They just sat there, and no amount of pleading, cursing, or bribery could make them move.

Finally, one of the young men explained that they were not especially tired. Rather, they had gone too far and too fast on the first day, and they had to “wait for their souls to catch up with their bodies.”

Ms. Cowman concluded her story with these words of reflection (and I remind you, her words are a century old): “This whirling, rushing life which so many of us live does for us what that first march did for those poor tribesmen. But here is the difference: They knew what they needed to restore life’s balance; too often we do not.”

So on this weekend that marks the official end of summer, don’t simply grill your burgers or down a few beers. Do less. Sit still. Take a nap. It will be an act of worship.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
button coupons

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,810.06
+91.06 (0.51%)    
2 S&P 2,063.50
+10.75 (0.52%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,712.97
+11.10 (0.24%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

2015 Eagle Tours at Land Between the Lakes

KENTUCKY (11/23/14) — Winter offers the best time for viewing bald eagles at Land Between The Lakes National Recreation… Read More

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

GREENVILLE, Ky. (11/22/14) ― A Greenville teenager was injured when the vehicle she was driving collided with another… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 5496

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 18, 2014 5163

Couple Charged for Concealing Food in Infant Car…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 4643

Police Charge Woman for Drug Possession After…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 17, 2014 3917

Bremen Woman Ejected From Vehicle During Kentucky…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper S.C. Recke
November 19, 2014 3537

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 21, 2014 3339

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 18, 2014 3238

Area Talent to Film Music Video at Merle Travis…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3071

Is Bankruptcy Your Best Option?

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3070

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
November 22, 2014 2953

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas

Stories Trending Today

November 22, 2014 2953

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collion in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 1600

KSP Announces 'Cram the Cruiser' to Feed the…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Stu Recke
November 22, 2014 1554

Greenville Representatives Taking Part in Austin,…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1515

SAR Planning 'Triple' Revolutionary War Patriot…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Geoff Baggett
November 21, 2014 1504

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 22, 2014 1422

Pennyrile Dulcimer Players Demonstrate Unique…

in Top News For All Sites by Ron Sanders
November 22, 2014 1408

Carve a Turkey Like a Pro

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1346

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1336

Prevent Fires at Home This Winter

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 22, 2014 1269

P'Pool Among Top Performing Child Support…

in Hopkins News by Cabinet for Health and Family Services

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss