“By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done”. – ”. Genesis 2:2-3

Denzel Washington, puts it like this “Don’t confuse movement with progress. Just because you are doing a lot more does not mean you are getting a lot more done.” Too many of us fall into that trap. Why are we being deceived into believing that being busy and showing the world that we are always in motion is progress and/or a sign of success? When did rest become offense or a sign of laziness? Why have we allowed the culture of people’s perceptions about achievement and fruitfulness dictate what is right and good for us and our growth? We’ve forgotten that the One who created the universe often took time away from the crowd to rest, to find peace in the midst of chaos so that He could have His cup filled for the next mission. We have distorted the truth and created a hostile approach to what was prescribed to us by God.

If the creator of the universe can say “I need to rest” surely, we need to learn and respond in the same manner. No one can work without resting. Rest and restoration have been instituted for our benefit. There’s importance in working hard, but there’s equally, if not immense importance, in rest and restoration because that’s the opportunity for the mind, body and the soul to rejuvenate. Scientist will tell you that rest is a fundamental part of how the body heals itself. The mind and the brain need to rest to be able to cope with daily demands. We know that the brain uses approximately 20% of the energy generated by the body. The brain is in charge of responding to the stimulus in our environment and informing the body on how to react. If the brain is overcharged, over stimulated and under nourished, then we run the risk of destroying the neurotransmitters that help send signals to the various parts of our bodies to function optimally. Rest is important to rest for the brain to function as well as for you to have clarity to focus. The industrial revolution has boosted economic growth in astronomical ways that we would have never imagined possible at the beginning of the 20th century. However, it has brought with it too many distractions and demands that people don’t know how to let go and schedule time to wind-down and take care of themselves. There’s a constant “go-go-go” culture that builds economies, but destroys people physically and mentally. People have forgotten what it is to live and breathe and most specifically to pause, unplug and unwind. Mental health (physical exertion and emotional stress) diseases have resulted in much of the personal and social conflict we are experiencing today.

As a wife to the most incredibly gifted human being on earth (biased but true, all the same) that I have the privilege of calling my husband, a mom to three wonderful yet demanding children, a deacon for children’s ministry at our church, a businesswoman and many other titles, I ensure that I intentionally rest. I do the activities that I enjoy doing that not only keep me healthy and grounded, but extend joy to the soul my inner person. I sprint, I do CrossFit, I grow my own vegetables, I tend my hives (and eat some of the honey). I don’t look at my phone after supper time and family time. I intentionally take my time to kneel before God and thank Him for the day’s work and the opportunity to get what I could get done, and the ability to get through it. Leaders need to understand that there’s a
correlation and causation between illness and rest. We see this clearly outlined in Exodus chapter 18 when Jethro, the high priest of Median, visits Moses, his son-in-law, in the wilderness. He saw Moses attend to the matters of the Israelites from morning till evening and this is what he said, “This is not good. You’re going to wear yourself out and the people too”. When the body is constantly on overdrive and in distress due to stressful circumstances then the result is mental breakdown, depression, anxiety and other more serious illnesses and auto-immune disorders or diseases. It’s up to leaders to promote mental health and personal well-being with their teams. Doing so may boost creativity, increase productivity, reduce stress, stimulate the immune system and over-all vitality and well-being. Adequate rest is required to be able to perform daily tasks, without rest people suffer mood swings, angst and stress.

When the job is too heavy for you to handle by yourself, seek help. There is no shame in saying “I need help.” A ‘great’ leader knows when to stand up and appoint other great, capable, honest, diligent men and women leaders of integrity to help carry the load. A leader teaches and is willing to be taught. A leader gives instructions and delegates work with humility, confidence, and honour. Take time out to enjoy yourself and the activities you enjoy doing. Intentionally focus on pursuing your health and wellness activities. Focus on positively re-framing your mind and body and pre-framing your future health and walk


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