According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller
Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking
him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.
Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the
ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle, if you can.
Tell us what the unstrung bows implies."
The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to
make. Aesop explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but
if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it."
People are also like that. That's why we all need to take time to rest. In today's
Scripture, Jesus prescribed time off for His wearied disciples after they had returned
from a prolonged period of ministry. And in the Old Testament, God set a pattern for us
when He "rested from all His work" (Gen.2:3).
Shouldn't we take His example seriously? Start by setting aside a special time to relax
physically and renew yourself emotionally and spiritually. You will be at your best for
the Lord if you have taken time to loosen the bow.
Our Daily Bread, June 6, 1994.
One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief
lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the
challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had.
"I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."
"But you didn't notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening
my ax when I sat down to rest."
Noise affects human behavior. In one experiment carried out by psychologists, a student leaving a library intentionally dropped
an armload of books. In 50% of the cases, a passerby stopped to help the student pick up the books. Then the experimenters
brought out a lawn mower without a muffler and started it near where a student would again intentionally drop the books. This
time, only about 10% of the people who passed stopped to help. It was clear that behavior changed because of the earsplitting
sound of the nearby lawn mower.
In experiments in Los Angeles, researchers found that children who lived in neighborhoods near
the airport could not complete certain tasks undertaken when jets were landing and taking off as easily as children who lived in
quiet neighborhoods. Some studies of prison conditions have shown that the high
levels of noise causes more complaints by prisoners than the food or other prison conditions do.
There's no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it. In our whole life-melody the music is broken off here and
there by 'rests,' and we foolishly think we have come to the end of the tune...not without design does God write the music of our
lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, and not be dismayed at the 'rests.' They are not to be slurred over, not to be omitted, not
to destroy the melody, not to change the keynote. If we sadly say to ourselves, 'There is no music in a rest,' let us not
forget that there is the making of music in it.
"Carry some quiet around inside thee," the well-known Quaker, George Fox, used to say. "Be still and cool in thy own mind and
spirit, from thy own thoughts, and then thou wilt feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Lord from whence cometh
life; whereby thou mayest receive the strength and power to allay all storms and tempests."
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to
remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment...Go some distance away because then the work appears
smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen." These are the words
of Leonardo da Vinci, and no idler he; he excelled as a painter, sculptor, poet, architect, engineer, city planner, scientist,
inventor, anatomist, military genius, and philosopher.
Leonardo Da Vinci.