Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Tired Run the World

"How ya' doin'?"
"Tired", comes the reply.

How many times throughout your week and year do you have this, albeit brief, but honest conversation? My father is fond of telling me that, "Tired people run the world."- his not-so-subtle way of telling me that I need to shut up and work harder.

And maybe for some that is true but I think that many of us are stressed out at work (putting in more than 40 hours and thoughts of it occupying us well into our home lives), trying to balance our family time, hauling kids around, and trying to occasional spend time with that person sharing our bed. Truth is, it all feels like work sometimes. It all feels coordinated, scheduled and laborious.

I, for one, want to stop. Even the 10 Commandments tell us that we are supposed to have a day off during the week. Given that 3 of the major world religions supposedly subscribe to this code its a pretty ecumenical barometer of spiritual health... and we take MOST of them seriously. We haven't killed anyone, slept with anyone's wife, built an idol to worship in the backyard- but rest seems like a suggestion. Like, "Why don't you take a break?"

But it is listed as an imperative, a Top Ten, something that is "holy" and set apart "to God". The truth is many of us will not get a two-day weekend that is hassle free but here are some steps towards planning your "holy day" off:

1. Leave work at the office (physically and mentally)
2. Do not take work calls/texts/e-mails (ideally, turn off your phone)
3. Plan time with people who fill you up spiritually and emotionally (and are not draining)
4. Do a couple of things just for you (take a walk, go for coffee, read a book, enjoy an album)
5. Play time with your kids/wife/husband/significant other (they need you relaxed to enjoy you)
6. Journal/reflect quietly. If only for 20-30 minutes, this time can really put some problems in perspective and let your spirit tune into the divine. When was the last time you had a spiritual epiphany while talking on your bluetooth, stuck in traffic?

God wants to talk to all of us and knows that without rest we don't function well. Sometimes, when I think about Him as a Dad, I think, He probably thinks of me like I do my kids when I know they are tired but won't go to bed.

Now, go take a day off. The tired will run the world while you rest.

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