I am writing this on my iPod because sitting upright is challenging at the moment. Today was supposed to be my first day of work after a 10 day vacation. I was feeling pretty miserable yesterday, but shrugged it off as a temporary gastrointestinal disturbance. However, when I woke up this morning I felt worse than I did the night before. Work just was not in the plan for today. Reluctantly, I called in and told my boss that I wouldn’t be coming in. As a recovering workaholic, I felt really guilty about it. I’m usually the type to show up “sick-as-a-dog”…only to be told to go home by everyone within coughing distance. I used to think that anyone who called in sick for any reason other than crippling illness was a wimp. On the other hand, I would also get annoyed with the one person (other than me) who showed up to work while contagious, only to spread all their germs around like some ersatz Typhoid Mary and make everyone else sick. I hate leaving my coworkers in the lurch, but I am not going to be that person anymore. I spent the better part of 3 years in and out of doctor’s offices because I never took enough time to rest after being sick.
As a Christian, I was always taught that hard work was to be admired and rest was to be frowned upon. Sayings like “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” were common and anyone who dared to stop and take a break was written off as lazy or not committed. But I also have seen more than a few relatives suffer with diseases caused largely by the stress of constant activity without any rest periods. Hypertension is hereditary on both sides of my family and I am the only person in my immediate family whose blood pressure is normal.
The reason? I know when my body needs rest and I actually take the time to do it. I also studied what the Bible says about rest, and it is all positive. (Seriously. There are a few verses speaking against being idle and lazy, but God is definitely okay with rest.) So as I lay here trying to type with my thumbs, I know that in spite of my feelings of guilt, I am doing the right thing. If I had showed up to work today not only would I have wasted my time, but I would have wasted the company’s time as well. I don’t like to show up if I am too weak to function, so I’d rather just call in, spend the day in bed, and recover so I can be in top shape tomorrow.
God, I hope so.