In today’s workplace, all of us are painfully familiar with unemployment (no job) and under-employment (work that does not tap our full potential). These are realities in our working world that are likely to be chronic problems for the foreseeable future.
Interestingly though, the media isn’t addressing another employment condition that is reaching epidemic levels – I like to call it “over-employment”. This is when the volume of work exceeds the sustaining capacity of the employee. In popular terms, it’s when we find ourselves “buried” at work.
The key cause of over-employment is obvious – employers, facing profit pressures, are cutting costs by reducing the number of employees responsible for sustaining the same volume of work. While we can shoulder this load for a time, it can become an overload in a hurry!
As early as Genesis in the Bible, we see God modeling a manageable pace to work and a definitive time to rest. In Genesis 1 and 2, God creates the universe in stages, one day at a time, over the course of six days. On the seventh day, God rests and blesses His creation. More than that, he makes the day of rest holy (Genesis 2:3).
Both at work and at home, in our contemporary society, the pacing is harried and resting is elusive. As Christians, this is an area where we need to lead by example. We need to set boundaries around how much we work, and how often we rest. Take the initiative to frame this out and find balance in your life!