Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. A wise youth harvests in the summer, but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.
Let me guess. In high school, you were the president of two clubs. You joined three other clubs for good measure. You didn’t get home most nights until after dinner because you had practice. Then, of course, you stayed up until 1 a.m. each night because you wanted to do at least semi well in your 3+ AP classes you were taking that semester. You basically had no time to rest. And this is all before you even dare include church or a social life. Throw that in there, and not only is rest impossible, but you’re barely going to get a night of okay sleep. And now you’re in college. And I just have a feeling that this may apply to a lot of you: You now have a fear of being lazy. And instead of keeping you from laziness, this fear is actually just preventing you from living a life of rest. Which is resulting in living an overly busy life or feeling guilt any time you take five minutes just to do nothing. And let me tell you: God did not create you for that. He created you for abundance.
Hear me when I say this: busyness does not equate to fulfillment. Busyness will not inherently help you bring more glory to God either. And now you may be saying, “But Hannah, this verse from Proverbs literally says that hard workers get rich and are wise and lazy people are the worst!!” And to that I say, I know!!! Laziness isn’t good!!! But also laziness and rest are not the same thing. And neither are busyness and hard work.
What is the difference between rest and laziness?
Rest is intentional and purposeful. Laziness is unintentional and unmotivated. Rest is refreshing. Laziness is draining. Rest is saying no to some things so that you can say yes to the most important things. Laziness is avoiding necessary obligations. Rest is knowing your limitations but going after your strengths. Laziness is knowing your strengths but giving into your limitations. Rest is setting time apart to energize yourself now so that you can work hard later. Laziness is not working hard even when the time has come to reap the harvest. Rest is saying no to busyness just for the sake of busyness. Laziness is not working hard because of a fear.
So what now?
My hope for you is that you understand that rest is Biblical. In Genesis, after God created the world, He rested. One of the Ten Commandments tells us to honor the Sabbath which is a day of rest. Jesus Himself tells us to come to Him because He will give us rest. God asks us to rest in Him, so that when the time comes to work hard, we are ready. We are rejuvenated. We have energy. Now, this may require you to redo your schedule a little. Choose the things that you really need to give your time to. And do those things well. But I guarantee you that you will do those things infinitely better when you are well-rested.
So, I encourage you to discover what it looks like for you to rest. It may be taking a nap or sleeping in. It may be listening to your favorite album or going for a drive. It often looks like prayer and worship. It also often looks like sitting and doing absolutely nothing (not even checking your phone). Find the rhythm that works for you. Ask God to join you on that journey. And He will come in, and He will use the rest that you give yourself to live a full life instead of just a drained one.
God, thank You for being who You are. Thank You for allowing me to rest. I just ask that you will begin to show me the difference between laziness and rest. I just ask that I will begin to live a life of rest that gives honor to You. And I ask that in the midst of learning how to rest, I do not lose a drive to do things well. I love You, God. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.