5 areas of life that teach us to slow down & enjoy the journey

"A relaxed attitude lengthens life ..." (Proverbs 14:30, NLT).

Life without space ... room to breathe and have fun is a failed life. 

In a culture where workaholics and Type A's are an honored gift, it is difficult to possess this trait.  We must remember that we have set the bar.  It is created by humans.  God teaches us in his Word to work hard, but we have specified 50-60 hours a week. 

God also teaches us to rest, but how many of us are learning this lesson?  How sad it is for those who come to the last few decades of their lives and don't know how to have a good time. They've toiled and endured and have forgotten how to enjoy the simple things of life. They've dedicated themselves to a job, but didn't realize the job had gotten in their systems and had become their fulfillment and purpose. 

Those who live for the Kingdom of God cannot let this be. We must learn to rest.  We must work on having space in our lives. Here are some things we must take into consideration:

1. Sleep

The hours an average American sleeps at night has gradually decreased by several hours over the past century.  We have more wealth, and more success than ever, yet we stress more, over-work and can't seem to sleep.  We should value sleep.  It is a gift from God.  Pray for His help to enjoy and cherish sleep.  Also, go easy on the caffeine.

2. Vacation

The Bible teaches that in the last days, travel and knowledge would increase.  It wasn't until the 20th Century that this became a reality because of the creativity of Orville & Wilbur Wright.  Because of airplanes, we can now travel to virtually any part of the globe within 24 hours!  Why not enjoy the earth God has given us?  Are you a traveler?  We are living in a time of some of the greatest opportunities in history (both for God & leisure).  If we don't stop every now & then to vacation and enjoy creation, we are making petty this massive blessing.

3. Hobbies

It's sometimes easy to let work get "in" us and to live for ambitions and a fast paced lifestlye.  We must break from this mold and allow ourselves enjoyments.  Find things other than work, that you like to do, and make them a staple in your life.

4. Fun

The wisest man on earth, King Solomon, teaches us in the book of Ecclesiastes that all our hard work is meaningless in the sense that we will eventually pass it on to another person when we die.  He tells us that the only thing that God has given us is to enjoy our lives and our work ... even though it is meaningless : )  He speaks a truth that many of us don't take into consideration.  Whatever you are doing, find enjoyment in it.  What is life worth, if we constantly complain about our situation and feel we don't want to be where we are.  Plant yourself, dig deep roots, commit to your job, your family and yourself, and find and focus on the things you enjoy.  The grass might be greener on the other side, but you will forever look back with nostalgia if you haven't eaten every possible blade of grass where you are at now.  Soak it up.  Make it fun, and live a full life.

5. Evaluation

Probably most importantly, the Sabbath God teaches us about in his Word is all about evaluation and focus.  As we allow space in our lives, we are finally able to consider our ways.  Does my life line up with what God is asking of me?  Am I enjoying myself?  Are there areas of my life I need to give more time to (ie - health, family, reading, finances, prayer, etc.)  And, of course, space allows us time for prayer and the Word of God, our spiritual depth and vitality.
We must never allow our lives to be ruled by our man-made clocks and schedules, but rather by the purposes and freedom found in Christ and the Kingdom of God.  A change of pace may just be what you are needing to give a renewed vigor to your work and life.