“If God rested, then we should too.”
If I could do a great British accent, (which I obviously can’t), I would do today’s podcast with that! Knowing me though, I would probably end up laughing all the way through… so just imagine one in your head as you read or listen to this today!
We’ve all heard the catch phrase: “keep calm and carry on!” What you probably don’t know, is that it originally appeared on a World War II British public safety poster. It was intended to be used to strengthen morale in lieu of an attack, which they thought was eminent. The government commissioned over 1 million posters and, after the war had ended, they were put in storage where most were destroyed. In 2000, one of the original posters was recovered and placed in a British bookshop. The image was shared online, and the rest is history! Stuart Manley and his wife Mary found one of the posters folded at the bottom of a box of old books they had purchased at an auction. They framed it, hung it in their shop, and started selling prints after people generated interest. Since then, there have been British rock bands that have named entire albums after it. Newspapers and magazines have written articles about it. There are blogs, websites and ad campaigns devoted solely to it. Etsy alone has over 10,000 different items featuring the original phrase as well as derivatives. If I were to make my own memes they would probably say: “Keep calm and drink more coffee!”, “Keep calm and call mom!” (I’m sure there is one of those already), and maybe “Keep calm and eat dill pickles!” (That actually is quite fun to do!)
What does this have to do with the holidays, you ask? Notice the original phrase was “keep calm and carry on.” Keeping calm is one thing, but staying calm is another. The holidays can be somewhat of a rollercoaster up one hill and down the next. Life can throw curve balls faster than we can catch them. The main objective is to stay calm and carry on! One of the ways we can do that is to rest. I know what you’re thinking… rest, during the Holidays? Easier said than done, right?”
In Genesis 2:1-3 God rested from all the work He had done. The word “rested” means to stop, to rest, to end. God had just created the heavens and the earth. Really think about that. The entire heavens and the earth — then He rested! God didn’t need to rest, (because He’s God), but He did! He knew what our lives would be like on this earth, so He gave us a template to follow so we wouldn’t get burnt out, stressed out, and holiday-ed (is that a word?) out! Rest was designed for the good of man. God knew that we would throw ourselves into our work and family. With the busyness of life, we would need to refuel and refresh to “stay calm and carry on.”
In verse 3 it says: “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
The Sabbath was ordained by God to be a day of rest. It is sanctified (set apart) in the sense that those who observe it may enjoy divine blessings. God wants us to slow down long enough to impart some things to us. He wants to talk to us and help us. We won’t even see the blessings if we are too stressed out! The seven-day week model was given to us so we could be the most productive here on earth. If God rested, then we should too. We won’t be able to stay calm at all if we are always stressed out, burnt out, or somewhere in between. We were made in God’s image. If He did it, we are to do it too!
So, when you start to feel crispy, take a breath and rest! Grab your bible and dive into the Word to be refreshed! Go to a mid-week service even if you think you are tired! The Word of God doesn’t return void. Everyone will benefit from being together in God’s house and hearing the Word. You will find that not only will you “keep calm,” but you will stay calm.