This is vacation time, and many will be thinking of going to the beach or the mountains with family for rest and renewal. To work well we need time to rest well, which is most easily done in a mutually satisfying relationship that sustains and benefits both activities.
A priest from the Taejon Diocese gives us some Scriptural verses that help us to see the importance of rest.
In Genesis 2:2-3, God rested. Genesis 18:1-5, Abraham invites three strangers to rest awhile under a tree. Exodus 23:12, Rest is for all of God's creation. Isaiah 28:12, This is the resting place, give rest to the weary; here is repose but they would not listen. Isaiah 57:20-21, But the wicked are like the tossing sea which cannot be calmed. No peace for the wicked! says my God. Hebrews 3:18, To whom but to the disobedient did he swear that they would not enter into his rest? Mark 6: 31, Our Lord said to them, "Come by yourselves to an out-of-way place and rest a little."
As one possible leisure time activity, the priest recommends taking the family to a retreat house. Vacation is not only limited to the beach or mountains but can be a quiet place where the family can get together to talk in a way they have never done before, creating, in the process, a new atmosphere of togetherness. The editorial in the Peace Weekly quotes St. Bonaventura from the 12 century saying: "Pressed by too much work you blunt the workings of the soul."
We often hear that in this present age we live to work and not work to live. This is something we all know is not the proper meaning of life but many have little hope in changing what has become a routine habit of many.
When I arrived in Korea, people had all kinds of leisure time, but they were poor; they are no longer poor, but they have little leisure time. Was it a fair trade off? We are too involved in the society we have made to make a fair judgement, but the future will.
Leisure time is without a purpose outside of itself. It's meant to be enjoyed solely for the leisure time. I don't think this kind of thinking comes easy for Koreans. It's foreign to our pragmatic and goal-oriented society . Even our pleasures are competitive and goal centered.
Labor that God gave humans to do is sacred. ( work and pray, say some monastic traditions.) The leisure that we are talking about does not demean the toil and concerns of everyday life. Our daily work routines require leisure time to better prepare us for the daily work we are committed to do with joy in our hearts and as healthy members of society.