FRIENDS often find it strange that despite being retired and living in so beautiful a location, we still feel the need to take a holiday each year.
But lovely though it’s been to see friends and family over the summer, our house often nearly bursting at the seams, there’s a great sense of relief when at last we can relax and have the place to ourselves. But even then the relaxation is decidedly limited, as after all the activity there always seems so much to do, so much to clean and so much to renew.
And so it is that we made the decision some time ago that we should go away at this time of year, once the really essential maintenance is completed, to somewhere where there is little option but to relax completely and recharge those slightly exhausted batteries. This doesn’t of course mean doing nothing, though that’s always an option, but relaxation can and does for us often include fairly energetic activities like walking, swimming and diving, but there’s no stress, no essential work to be done and no sense of guilt at not wielding a paintbrush or mixing concrete. And so this year, as is often the case, we’ve migrated to the beautiful little Island of Gozo, where we can truly relax and build up strength for whatever may lie ahead.
And this need for rest and relaxation between periods of work is a God ordained requirement, even included as one of the Ten Commandments, that we should all enjoy at least one day’s complete rest each week. And how much damage has been done to the health of both individuals and our society by the ever-increasing pressure to ignore this requirement and treat every day the same. One can’t help but wonder just how much of the stress related problems of our twenty-first century society are a direct consequence of our disregard of this basic and incredibly sensible rule. God, I would suggest, got that one very right indeed, and I believe we’d all do well to recognise the need and rethink our lives accordingly.