Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

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.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 18956

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 14, 2014 6384

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 5263

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 3564

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3048

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 5263

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 3564

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3048

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2709

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1049

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 2087

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 15, 2014 1631

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1288

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 927

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 14, 2014 673

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 2926

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 2542

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1929

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1763

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1428

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


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

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03