During the Russian communist era an attempt was made to improve workers’ productivity by abandoning the Biblical ideal of working for six days and resting on the seventh. The assumption was that if people put in more working days with fewer breaks then they would produce more. But the reverse happened, productivity fell, and the experiment failed. The wisdom of the Bible was proved right.
I was reminded of this on a recent holiday. At the resort there were hundreds of sun-loungers which by the end of each day were in a mess, pulled this way and that by holidaymakers attempting to find or avoid the sun. But overnight someone walked round and re-set them all. By morning they were all perfectly aligned in neat rows and with the backs all slanted at exactly the same angle.
Days of rest and holidays provide the opportunity for the sun-loungers of our lives to be reset and re-ordered at regular intervals, in order to prevent a descent into chaos. But more than that what we actually need are holy daysbecause as creatures true rest is found in the arms of our Creator. That’s why the writer of Psalm 46:10 declares that we need to, “Be still and know that I am God”.
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