Living Life by Work and Leisure is All Wrong

It’s that time of year again. If you hang out on Facebook, this is the time every summer when you start seeing shots of people’s legs, propped up at the beach, like the one above.

Or maybe they’re not legs:


I love a vacation as much as the next human, but you gotta admit, our country is obsessed with leisure time. The whole developed world, actually.

Have you ever spent enough time in a vacation mecca to meet locals?

I spoke at a church in the Florida Keys once and mentioned to the pastor how great his job must be. He replied, “Oh, no. The Keys are full of people running from life and trying to cover up pain with leisure.” If you get out from behind the hotels, you find a lot of hurting people.

There’s a big difference between leisure and rest.

Rest, or to use the word of God’s design, Sabbath, is the gift of a weekly reward for our creative labor.

Leisure, on the other hand is what happens when we reduce the nobility of a creative calling to the drudgery of “work.” We hate the latter so much we pursue its antonym, comfort. We desire to shrink the work week. We hold out leisure as the “good life.”

Leisure is a lie. It doesn’t last.

No offense to the best-selling book’s author, but I am not interested in a Four Hour Week. It’s not that I’m a workaholic – well maybe I am a little – but I just wouldn’t know what to do with so much down time. It would hurt my soul.

Defining our lives around work and leisure are poles set in place by a broken world that sees daily life as toil, Adam post-garden.

I’d rather think of life as built around God’s poles of making and resting. This is Adam, in the garden, working alongside the Lord, naming animals, tending to paradise.

Creativity is our best experience of the garden state. Creativity is the means by which we make. If you’re tired of work and leisure and want to re-orient your life, then rediscovering your creativity is where to start.


About the Author

Len Wilson

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Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).