“And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2)
The Japanese people are in crisis. It is almost a disease. It is overwork. Large numbers of Japanese people are dying each year from overwork. These otherwise healthy adults are working so many extra hours, to the point that exhaustion is causing healthy people to commit suicide, or succumb to heart failure. The Japanese even have a name for the crisis: “Karoshi.”
The Japanese are expected to work extremely long hours, with high intensity. They are raised to be corporate warriors, and to “give your all” to the corporation. In 2016 alone, 2,000 individuals died from Karoshi in Japan. Karoshi leaves individuals isolated and exhausted. There is no time left for the raising of children properly.
The roots of Karoshi go back to the end of World War II. People had to pick up the pieces of their nation and begin again. It took an enormous commitment to rebuild from the rubble. It took every person working themselves to death, to move the nation forward. Overwork is considered patriotic in Japan. Many Japanese families are left scarred by loss and trying to find answers to the epidemic.
God new the value of rest. Even the Creator of the ends of the universe needed to rest. Overwork isn’t only a worry in Japan. We Americans also struggle with overwork. It takes a toll on our families and our health. Today, evaluate your health and well-being. Are you working too many hours at the expense of your family and your health? Do you need to change your beliefs on this issue? It isn’t tough and virtuous to sacrifice your marriage, your children, your faith and your health for your work. If God can’t do it, neither can we!