In my state, North Carolina, the Wage and Hour Act does not require mandatory rest or meal breaks for employees over the age of 16. Additionally, there is no law requiring employers to give smoking breaks.
However, most wage and hour employers offer such.
Not once, but at least a couple of times during the day if an individual works eight or more hours. And most do not require employees to “clock out” or “go off the clock” for these breaks. Bottom line – most employers give their employees breaks and pay them to take them!
Why? Because most companies realize that for one to do his or her best work, he/she needs periodic mental and physical breaks – even if just for a few minutes. The same is true for stressful and salaried jobs. Long-distance truck drivers must document their breaks. Likewise airline pilots and air traffic control employees. Surgeons’ work hours versus off-work hours are routinely monitored.
But some of us are “Energizer Bunnies” going from sun up to sun down 24-7.
Research shows that breaks are critical not only to our productivity but also to our health and our happiness.
Scripture shows breaks are critical to our spiritual health and growth! That is if we take a God Break!
Look at the example of Jesus:
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there” (Mark 1:35 NASB).
“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” (Matthew 14:23 NASB).
“But Jesus Himself would often slip away…and pray” (Luke 5:16 NASB).
And this is a practice that needs to become habit for us, too.
If we want to fulfill God’s vision for our lives, we must continually hear from God. If we want to be more like Jesus, we must spend time with Him. If we want to be all that God calls us to be, we must feed regularly at His table.
In the book named after him, The Prophet Habakkuk wrote (v2:1 NLT), “I will climb into my watchtower ….” meaning that he would go to a place away from distractions, away from people, away from busyness, away from his own thoughts. And this is what we need to do – find a quiet place away from the distractions of life and take a God Break.
This Week: Begin making it a habit to press the pause button and take a God Break. Psalm 46:10 teaches, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Take time to “be still” before God and alone with God. Use this time to align your heart and mind back to God – to His Word and to His plan for you. You may need to begin with a reminder – a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, an alarm on your cell phone, a note penciled in your day planner. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a LONG break, but it needs to be an intentional, focused and private break – just between the two of you..