“And Jesus said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure, even to eat’” (Mark 6:31).
Since none of us are super men or super women, the daily responsibilities of life cause weariness of both body and mind. Even our Lord Jesus, as He walked this earth, experienced mental and physical weariness while fulfilling His ministry. There were times, when Jesus and His disciples needed a break and the Gospels reveal that they periodically escaped from the demanding crowds to places of rest and relaxation.
The King James translation of Mark 6:31 says, “And Jesus said to them, ‘Come apart and rest awhile.” Years ago, I was counseled by a man of God who was much older and wiser than me, he said, “Wayne, if you won’t come apart rest awhile, you will come apart after a while.”
According the scriptures, physical rest is necessary to fit us to be productive in our labors. Unlike today’s culture where people work to play, the Bible would call us to play that we might better work.
Biblical leisure is like a placing a boat in a drydock where the barnacles can be scraped from its hull and its tattered sails repaired so that it might efficiently sail the seas once again. Or, leisure and times of rest and recreation are like taking time to sharpen a dull knife that it might once again cut cleanly and effortlessly.
Contrary to popular belief, man was not created to play, he was created for productive labor, even in the Garden of Eden, before sin ever entered the world, man was given a job, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Therefore, play, leisure time, recreation, periodic breaks and vacations are designed to refresh and restore both physically and mentally so that we might return to our labors, whatever they may be, more focused and efficient at our craft.