"Yes, because in six days God made the Heavens and the Earth and on the seventh day he stopped and took a long, deep breath." Exodus 31:17 (MSG)
In my youth I was a competitive swimmer. While swimming in a race, the act of taking a breath slowed you down. If you could keep from breathing on every stroke you could shave precious seconds off of your time and it gave you a competitive edge. The key was to push yourself as long as possible and worry about breathing after the race.
In the "rat race" of life, we get sucked into a similar belief. We push ourselves day-by-day to get as much done as possible, filling our lives with a blur of motion. The idea of "sabbath" has become a forgotten concept. If we stop, even for a moment, we might miss out on something. We might lose our edge. We may not be competitive.
I love the way the Message translates the Sabbath as "a long, deep breath." How often do I feel choked by my schedule? God knows that my spirit requires "a long, deep breath" on a regular basis. The discipline of rest feeds my body, mind and soul with spiritual oxygen. Rest is a holy practice I, too often, ignore.