During the second world war, the British sped up production of war materials. Factories went to a 74-hour workweek. However, the morale of the factory workers fell, accidents increased, and the workers felt stressed out. They were actually working only 66 hours per week. The factory owners decided to reduce the working hours to 48 hours a week with a mandatory rest of one day a week. To their surprise, production actually went up 15 percent even though they worked fewer hours. Furthermore, morale improved, absenteeism dropped, spoiled work decreased, and there were fewer accidents. Regular rest and eliminating fatigue made the difference.
The rhythmic pattern of resting one day a week is an ancient idea. It was God’s gift to the human race to preserve life and promote spiritual, mental and physical health. A regular period of rest and relaxation ensures freshness and vitality. In our stress-filled, busy lives we need some downtime. Christ recommended that we take a time out (Mark 6:31).
Winston J. Craig writes from Berrien Springs, Michigan.