We all work too hard. Already by 6 am, most of us are checking email in an attempt to get a head start on our day. By afternoon, we are plowing through our “to-do” lists, and catching up on more messages, emails, and business calls. Until bedtime, we keep a watchful eye on our email, sometimes answering queries until the wee hours of the morning. Indeed, in some professions, one must always be available to the “customer.” That mentality makes experiencing downtime or going on vacation nearly impossible.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, “Americans have hit an all-time low when it comes to taking off work. More than 4 in 10 people do not use all of their vacation days for fear of work piling up or because they feel no one else can do their job while they’re away . . . Experts say overloading without taking time to recharge isn’t healthy. “It might seem counterintuitive when you have a lot of work to take time off,” says Karen Osterle, a psychotherapist and marriage counselor in the District of Columbia. “But the problem is we’re not working efficiently if we’re in a constant state of stress . . .” 
Seeking work-life balance is not a theme unique to those of us living in the twenty first century. In Chinese philosophy, “yin and yang date back as far as 700 B.C.E., to the I Ching (The Book of Changes, a text Universal in its understanding and representation of the dynamic balance of opposites and the processes of unfolding events and changes). ” Roman philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BCE–65 CE) wrote: “The mind should be allowed some relaxation, that it may return to its work all the better for the rest.” Roman poet Ovid wrote, “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Leonardo da Vinci said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.” And in Mark 6:30-32, we read: “The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while."
So what do you do for spiritual refreshment? How do you balance work and life? How do you know when it is time to get away? These questions may be answered quite differently according to the balance needs of each individual person. For me, sitting on a sunny beach with my toes in the sand, watching the powerful waves of the Pacific Ocean crash one after another for days on end restores my mind, refreshes my spirit, and revives my soul.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
The Scripture tells us to quiet ourselves, and with good reason! As you enter into summer vacation time, how will you refresh and restore?
 “8 Ways To Vacation Right And Recharge Your Health,” by Corinne Ruff, U.S. News & World Report. August 2, 2015 updated August 3, 2015.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/8-ways-to-vacation-right-and-recharge-your-health_us_55ba55a1e4b095423d0e191c, accessed May 16, 2017.
 Yin and Yang,” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang, accessed May 17, 2017.
Wise Old Sayings, http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/relaxing-quotes/, accessed May 18, 2017.
 New American Standard Bible, https://www.bible.com/bible/100/MRK.6.nasb, accessed May 17, 2017.