Where do we find rest?

This summer a million Dutch people escape The Netherlands for holidays outside the country. And as I write this, I am still panting from a long traffic jam between Apeldoorn and Amersfoort, mainly the results of car loads of Germans who escaped from Germany for finding rest on our Dutch beaches.

We are all frantically moving to find relaxation - are we so stressed? Some research done in 2017 by Robert Half showed the Dutch workers had a high happiness score of 69.9 out of 100. According to a press release, this puts us in the top three, after the US and Germany.

The Dutch employees also reported the lowest stress levels (55.9 out of a maximum of 100), compared with workers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and US. The report linked contentment at work with higher levels of respect, participation and feeling valued.

But that is all relative. I meet lots of people who feel they are too busy and that they need a long break. You too? Well, enjoy your holidays. Refresh the mind and the body.

Jesus told his followers that if they follow him, they find true rest. He said this in the context of Israel where people felt burdened by the Jewish and Pharisaic laws. They felt oppressed by all the good things they were supposed to do, and they never met their target.

Jesus invites us to rest with him. Sometimes even a good sabbath, or a good week, or month, of holidays does not do. The stress is because we move around without direction and pushed by all things we ‘must’ do. And that awaits us when we come back from holidays. But Jesus steps in to tell us, ‘focus on who you are, on who you are with Me, and forget all other things for a moment.’

Read your bible; meditate on it; be with Jesus Christ even during your holidays. And I hope you all return rested and relaxed.

Jos Strengholt