|These days life is full of exciting events and sites. For those who create time off work, there is a lot to enjoy. There are fun games, sun bathing, cliff-diving, swimming contests, hikes, beach walks and bush walks, visits to game parks, historical sights, museums, and monumental parks among many others. Still there is visit to homes for the destitute and the elderly, tree planting, visit to countryside and reflection retreats. We have a real variety to choose from. All these events provide exciting and relaxing moments and off-work climate suitable for bodies that have passed through days or weeks of hassles and haggles.
We as Christians however need to be careful during these times because of several reasons. During some of these events, our bodies and minds are idling hence susceptible to evil thoughts engineered by Satan. It’s during personal reflections that some people find life worthless and may decide to commit suicide. It’s during fun games that jokes are taken too far and indeed lies are spoken. It’s during sun bathing that fleshly passions run high due to the nude bodies in beaches hence causing beachgoers to sin by way of lust. Weekends have been marked by a lot of indulgence in drinking, anti-spiritual melodramatic movies and soap operas and unspeakable forms of immorality. Christians are not exempted from these evil waves. It’s when people have gone to tour museums and monumental sites that some buy some items which are idols and have evil deity connections which may be accursed in the sight of God. We will not go deeper than this. All I’m putting across is that off-work clouds may carry with themselves heavier drops than anticipated … in form of serious temptations.
2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
David was taking a roof walk relaxing because the Israel army had utterly destroyed the Ammonites. What followed before the end of the walk was a real bombshell. And things snowballed from lust to covetousness to adultery to conspiracy (duping Uriah into lying with his wife) and finally to murder! ‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop’ so the saying goes. Let’s watch out! Even when we are having off-work events let us cling to Romans 12:1-2 ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ And let us also remember Colossians 3: 3 & 5, For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
– johnstone katuku
Luke 14:5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”
The WordPower dictionary defines Sabbath as ‘a day of rest and worship…’.I’ll not go any deeper on Sabbath but two critical words in the definition are ‘rest’ and ‘worship’. Let’s settle on ‘rest’. Weekends are resting days for most workers except some businessmen who may see this as their peak time to make money since people are in a relaxing, carnival and spendthrift mood.
For those employed, the contracts spell out everything: days and hours of work, and leave entitled. Anything that contradicts this may see the employer on a collision course with the employees. And it’s right for them to get relief from work as per the contract terms. On some occasions however, the employer may be required to beg or sometimes demand the services of employees when they are supposed to be off. This may be mostly when a certain started project must end. A good example is the case of construction projects
-when deadlines must be met,
-when a mixture of building materials may crystallize and get spoiled if not used or
-when construction of a building must be done to a certain joint before halting.
Friction may sometimes flare up when the employer feels it critical for the employees to go on working. The inability of the employer to pay some astronomical overtime premiums may be a catalyst to the flare-up.
So, do employees in the above picturesque scenario leave the donkey lying in the pit? The employees have the right to do so since they will be applying the contract terms to the letter. But in fairness of things, they should help out unless it has been proven that this is the habit of the employer. For if the donkey dies the employer may need to retrench some fellows due to reduced capacity. This is one reason why they should help. They should think the business as their own and this is true, they are in the business to earn. We saw in Ephesians 6:5-9 that whatever we do, we should do it as unto Christ. This is reason number two why the employees may need to help. All that is right may not always be righteous before the eyes of God. We may do things that are right according to contractual agreements but end up showing the face of someone else, not Christ. God is fair, just and full of goodness and would want us to do unto others what we would expect them to do to us!
– johnstone katuku
Gen 2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made”.
An automatic electric kettle is a simple gadget with an interesting functionality. When the water or the liquid being heated boils, the heater automatically goes off. That is what human bodies are like. After a day, week, month and year of work, the body needs a rest. We may ignore the calls of the body and go on working industriously without heeding. Some people are motivated by overtime payments; others are workaholics while others still, chase after promotions to bigger titles. None of these is sin. However turning on the knob after it has automatically gone off could be disastrous. It’s like putting the power on when it automatically goes off due to low voltage. This could result in high resistance in the circuit and hence a burst up. Daily working hours, weekends, off-days, leave days, sabbatical leave, school holidays and vacations were all set to help give fatigued bodies ample rest. These are human guidelines on periodic respite. But God rested after a week of saying ‘let there be’ and ‘soiling his hands’ with mud to bring forth creation. His rest was symbolic. Since we are created in his image, we need to rest as He did.
This said, there is much more to life than working. Besides, work is only a subset or a segment of life. The other side of the coin is rest, retreat, devotional bible study, prayer and many others. Balancing these requires a little bit of wisdom which will come when we have allowed God’s will in our lives. When we ignore the will of God, our life may be haphazard. Psalms 37:23 says ‘the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the LORD…’ Life is about steps. If these are not ordered of God, we will work more and relax less, pray more and work less, relax and work not, do devotional study and relax not and many more imbalanced matrices. Extremes of either side will affect our mechanical, spiritual, and mental output. So what do we conclude? If we work smarter we will have daily rest and weekend outs. If we have leave or off-days let the money not deceive us to rove on. If our young kids, brothers and sisters in schools have vacations, taking them for vacation tutoring may achieve little, if anything.
I am borne of a Dad who believes in work 24-7. When I was growing up he would wake us up before dawn……even when no work was being done in the farm. He just wanted us to start doing something as early as five in the morning. I am not a proponent of working on and on and as such my life would be really unpleasant when the clock hit five in the morning. My brother copied him in this and he would make us work in the farm from six in the morning to six in the evening, the only break being a thirty-minute spell of swallowing food (not eating) nicknamed ‘lunch break’. It reached a point where our brother would allot the farm area to be worked on to each one of us, albeit some of us being younger and energetically challenged. At the end of my first day, my hands had developed blisters and my shoulders were stinging with aches. From the second day onwards, my palms developed hard gravel-textured protrusions such that whenever I shook other people’s hands, they would exclaim….oh your hands are so rough! My shoulders and back developed incessant pains. In the evening, we would apply pain balm on our bodies. It seemed like slavery. Absolutely! It was like the case of the Israelites at the hands of the odious Egyptians. My father managed to push some values into our lives…..though via hairsplitting methods. I thank him anyhow.
Then, my pastor came up with a sermon about those who do not work. Based on the scriptures, these should not eat at all. That affirmed my belief that life was about three things: Work, Work and Work. What my pastor didn’t say is that hard work does not mean roving throughout, like the earth which rotates nonstop.
But as time went on, I reached a point in life when my body stopped functioning like a thermometer, measuring the intensity of the fatigue, and instead started working like a thermostat, as a regulatory device that would make sure the body goes off whenever exhausted. I would experience serious thundering pulses on my head. That was when I was in my third year in campus and exams littered my life. I hopped from campus exams to professional exams ad infinitum. The results? Engine-knocks as it were. Serious headaches faced me. I went to the campus clinic and the doctor told me that I had symptoms of a person who had continuously engaged his mind without a rest. I have always labeled doctors as pure guessers, especially those with limited experience and professional qualifications like him. But this time around, I admittedly nodded….. “That’s right; I have been reading without a rest for the last eighteen months (on the lower side)”.
‘All work without play makes Jack a dull boy’ is not just ancient English saying. In deed it has become as practical as never before, as witnessed by inventions such as retreats, fun days, crazy Olympics, holidaying and indoor working that have marked the 21st century. Mankind has realized that there needs a balance between work and life.
The question of how to spend time wisely is an age-old riddle which can only be solved by applying the scriptures. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 sums up everything……there is time for everything. And Genesis 2:2 reads: And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.Are you wondering how you would strike a balance between work and life? Is the seesaw in your life tilting in one direction, threatening to throw you off-balance? Is your life clogged by a nerve-racking job? Or is your boss angry with you for your hands-off attitude to your work? The answers to both these diametric questions are hidden in the many pages of the Holy Book, the Bible. We will present some of them to you here. Stay with us.
– johnstone katuku
A recent survey that was conducted in the country where I live revealed that most people die about two to five years after they stop working (retire). One of the reasons for this is because over the years, they have only been dedicated to their work. In other words, their life has been centred on their work, so when there was no work to do, there was no life to live.
Do you currently have a job; business or something good you do that puts money in your purse? If your answer is positive, I will like you to imagine you stopped doing all such things today. What other events would you have left in your life? If they are very negligible, then you may be heading the way of most of the retirees in my country.
Don’t get too scared yet because this webpage is dedicated to give you useful tips on how to live a ‘balanced life’.
– tope aladenusi