One of the questions that those obsessed with work often ask is why should we stop for a day off anyway? What good does it do me to stop and rest when I could be earning more money and producing more goods and services for people to use and consume? It is exactly this attitude that marginalizes any concept or understanding of faith from our lives. Yes, it is perfectly possible to keep working 365 days a year! However, the ultimate question of life and its meaning will never be addressed in our lives unless we take time and examine it a little more closely than working all of the time will allow.

Leisure is actually an essential aspect of fully human living. It may seem that we can do without it if we want to so push ourselves, but it will be to the detriment of our overall health, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual if we fail to give ourselves the time and space to reflect upon the meaning of life. As Socrates suggests in the Plato’s Apology, “The unexamined life is not worth living!”

God provides us with a Commandment to keep holy the Sabbath Day because He is well aware of the temptations that will afflict us. It is not just an encouragement to take time out of our work obsessed lives and reflect upon why we even work anyway, but a command in that He knows it is a necessary step in order for our relationship with Him to develop into something meaningful. The most important thing we will do in our life is to develop a relationship with God, as this is the only path to eternal life. After all is said and done, it is our relationships that are the things that will endure beyond this life, not our wealth or human achievements. This can be a difficult truth to learn and thus we need to set time aside regularly to remind us of its importance for our own well-being and future.

Leisure is a necessary component fro reflection which in turn is necessary for giving meaning to our lives. Only a fool will not accept this fact and seek to fill his or her life with a multitude of things and events that cannot satisfy us in the end. As Augustine so wisely and succinctly once said, “Lord you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” (Confessions 1.1)

How faithful am I to setting aside times in order to reflect upon my life direction? Do I know where my life is going or is it just one thing after another?

Holy Spirit, help me to be disciplined about reflecting upon my life so that I will not lose sight of why I am here and where I am heading. Grant me the grace to be sensitive to your promptings so that I will not miss any opportunity to grow in my understanding of God’s plan for my life.