The Importance of Rest

Jaene Tenorio, Nutritionist
March 9, 2017
Why is rest so important? What would happen if we did not designate a day for resting from our daily activities?

We left the times of slavery and long hours of the Industrial Revolution only to return to them by our own free will. Demanding routines, challenging projects, lofty goals, are part of today's daily life. When possible, we work incessantly. Time does not allow for pauses. This is what many of us think and how many of us act. But the body and mind ask for a break. Not just a few minutes of break during a long day, nor the hours of sleep, which are often neglected. Our body does need daily rest, but the break I am referring to is the break achieved by disconnecting yourself from the toils and worry of everyday life. Not necessarily just by sleeping, but engaging in other activities that provide rest to the mind and body. A weekly break. A day of the week to rest, to "disconnect" from life, to renew physical and mental strength. Yes, this is essential to our health. God, our Creator, knew this and provided a separate holy day for this weekly rest—the Sabbath.

 

In 1793, after the proclamation of the French Republic, a mathematician named Gilbert Romme proposed the creation of a completely new calendar. I think he thought a week with seven days was not enough. In Romme's proposed calendar, months had 30 days and were divided into 3 "weeks" of 10 days each. This calendar became known as the "French Republican Calendar" and was put into practice for almost 13 years. The revolution had as one of its objectives the removal of cultural ties that had religious foundations. The Gregorian calendar was based on Christian events and must thus be eradicated.

 

There was great difficulty for the French people to adapt to the new calendar with its 10-day weeks. Productivity declined at the end of the long week, physical and mental health problems increased, and even animals fell in the fields. Finally, in 1805 the new calendar was abolished.

 

According to historians, there have been many other failed calendars used by different peoples throughout history. The three-day week (Basque), four-day week (Nigeria), five-day week (the Soviet Union, where Saturdays and Sundays were excluded), six-day week (West Africa), ten-day week (China, Egypt, France), and a thirteen-day week (Mayas and Aztecs), among other attempts. This is why the seven-day week is considered the most persistent day grouping of all calendars in history.

 

In a 2005 issue of National Geographic, researchers studied the three groups of people that boast the longest longevity—those living in Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, and California, United States. In California, the researchers found a group of Loma Linda Adventists who stood out as "champions of longevity in North America." In this region, they found more centenarians, and less fatal diseases compared to other parts of the developed world. At the conclusion of the study, it emphasized that Adventists also rest on the Sabbath, a day when they socialize with other members of their church and enjoy a period of rest. They stated that most Adventists follow this lifestyle, demonstrating the benefit of combining a long healthy life with religion.

 

The human body was created to rest after six days of work. God created us, and as the Creator, He knows our body and all our needs. He knows what is best for our health and life. Our body was created to follow a seven-day cycle, with a day dedicated to renewing our energies and obtaining mental and physical rest.

 

Let us enjoy this wonderful day created by God our Lord, renew our strength, and have good health.