The Badge of Busyness

May 12, 2016

An exhausted businessman took a vacation in a faraway country to unwind. Every morning he walked from the resort to the beach. Each day he found a local man cleaning a fish in his boat. After witnessing this for several mornings, the businessman said,

"How often do you fish?"

"As often as I want to eat," the fisherman said.

"What do you do the rest of the day?"

"I take a siesta, do some things around the house, enjoy my family, play my guitar and visit friends."

"Listen," said the businessman, "if you fished all day, you could sell your fish, buy a bigger boat, hire helpers to sell your fish all over the world and make a boatload of money!"

The fisherman was confused. "Why would I do that?"

"So you can quit working, take vacations, relax and enjoy family and friends!"

"Sir," said the fisherman. "I'm doing that now and I only have to catch one fish a day to do it."

Of all the commandments, keeping Sabbath is the most counter-intuitive. Especially now. We are increasingly uncomfortable with downtime and relaxation, reaching for our phone in unoccupied moments, wearing our busyness like a badge of honor. "I'm so busy" is both a cry of lament and a pretention to importance. "Remember the Sabbath" is not only a command for rest; it is an invitation to know the joy of being unnecessary. No one is more important or necessary than God and even God took a day off.  So what's my excuse?

Lord, if not a full day of Sabbath rest, grant me the courage to take 20 minutes today for quiet, undistracted rest and allow you to be God.

Originally posted on

Leadership Development