Friday, July 25, 2014

Words for Boaters and the Married

I took my family boating a couple days ago. I have neither a boat nor the means to get one to water, so in order for the paternal heroics of that first sentence to have happened I had to borrow a truck from one friend and a boat from another.

I have great friends.

It has been many years since I've driven a truck with a boat-trailer hitched behind me. Over the last couple of decades I have grown very accustomed, on the level of instinct, to driving down the road as a single vehicle rather than a connected two. As I towed the boat behind the truck I found my mind really resisting having these well-rutted instincts overridden. When pulling a boat, the stopping distances take a very different sort of consideration and caution than when it's just your car or truck. Simple turns take far more attentiveness and care. Parking, even just to run in and get ice, is a complete inconvenience. And backing up requires the patience of Job and some witchcraft.

It took me a bit to get used to it all and frankly, it would take several days of it for it to feel normal again.

I once read it requires approximately a decade to a decade and a half for a married couple to begin thinking of themselves naturally as a pair. That's ten years of marriage, or even more, before one or both of the individuals in the relationships begin to instinctively think of not only themselves in any decision, plan or act*. Until then, each person continues to use to some degree the mindset of the unmarried, driving their individual car down the road wondering why he or she has so many problems now that there's a trailer back there.  I give this example often: at noon on a Saturday, when my stomach growls, I think "I need to eat." It's a normal response. But when Kristi's stomach growls she thinks, "It's time to make lunch for the family." This is also a normal response, but it fits the circumstances far better than my response does. It's more attuned and more mature, and speaks of her others-centered love against my continued self-interest. Though I am improving, I still think primarily in "I". Kristi thinks in "we". Note how I naturally took credit for taking my family boating in the first sentences of this post when in reality, Kristi was just as much involved. Old habits die harder in some I suppose. Sometimes I wonder if I might just be a chimpanzee with a blog.

Many couples don't make it to that sacred union of the interior. That me-to-We transition. Most don't even know such a thing exists. They have their wedding. They have their honeymoon period. They have their bumpy but bright early years. And then after five or seven or ten years they end up saying things like, "This just isn't working." "It shouldn't take this much effort if it was meant to be." "We used to have something, but I feel like we have fallen out of love/grown apart, etc." They believe on some level things would just start clicking, and unconsciously gave themselves far too few years for that to happen. Often times, and I'd argue most often, relational troubles aren't caused by some impossible circumstances that separate a couple. Most often it's individuals refusing to allow their now connected souls to learn to necessarily adjust to new ways of getting down the road. You watch as individual sports cars go zipping by, the semi-trucks who make hauling trailers seem effortless, and you can't even turn into the gas station without doing a 23-point turn and cussing. Something down deep wants to unhitch to make it easy again.

In a way, that's exactly what it would be. Easier. But would we really expect something than begins with vows to be easier? What else do we think we're vowing - pledging - at the beginning of a marriage but to resist the urge to go back to when it was easier to stop and turn and change lanes? What else is a marriage but a mutual oath against selfish instincts, that we will work to make two separate vehicles one and allow all the years necessary to make it a new, sacred normal? Aren't we vowing to push through a season (or several) of wanting to unhitch because we believe something holy will be found in the commitment to the other?

Perhaps if you're engaged or are in a rough patch, you need to be reminded: All acts of love are difficult.  That's why we're commanded to do so. Only things we resist must be commanded. The difficulty in your marriage isn't necessarily a sign of failure or breakdown. It is the consequence of two single people working against their own nature to become one. That's why we hang out with other married people who have been married longer and talk to each other and go to counseling and all that. So we can learn how to gradually make individual components, with time and practice, get down the road as one. A new natural, with new habits, called family.

Being married is no more beautiful than being single. They both take many, many years to master. But should you choose to marry, may God grant you wide turns and a strong hitch, and all the patience required to get the hang of it.

*I've seen it take twenty or more for some couples. Don't think that you've failed if you're a longer study!

Friday, March 7, 2014


Cold, dark vacuum in every direction
Suns and worlds trapped in spiral collections
The sum of our knowledge a hilarious fraction
What am I that you'd think of me?

Incalculable heights and depths and weights
Meaningless chaos ordered neatly in place
One plundered planet in a universe yet chaste
What am I that you'd think of me?

Seven billion hurts and hopes and fears
Seven billion faces stream with tears
Seven billion prayers but only two ears
What am I that you'd think of me?

Monday, March 3, 2014

You cannot create tomorrow.

"I could take a photograph from the exact same angle every hour one day."
I had many ideas for the old building. It seemed to lean against itself to stand, silently begging me to immortalize it as I drove by. I was the only one with these wonderful ideas in my mind. I was the only one it begged. It was 2006.

"Perhaps I should paint it on itself. One of its own boards with its image painted on."
Its warped, decayed siding glowed deep red, the white trim flecked with mold and rot. Windows, mostly shattered, served as trellises for ivy which worked to camouflage the whole. I was driving past again, as I did everyday. I admired it. Not a ninety degree angle left- stubbornness held it up. The roof was falling in on itself but still sheltered the building enough to assure me a history lesson and a face full of webs awaited me inside. It was 2007.

"A photograph every season. One with leaves turned. Then one with snow. Then spring rains."
I knew where I'd hang the art in my home. I thought of my mother, and a photographer friend. They would definitely want copies. I drove by, admiring the old-timey soda advertisement cocked in the window. Large painted letters, though bleached and pale, were still visible on the side of the building with the lowest bushes and scrub. It was 2008.

"What if I shot time-lapse photography? People posed motionless all day as a clock advanced in a whir beside them?" I wasn't sure what I would do with this video. I wasn't sure if it was my best idea. No matter. I had many other ideas. My mind was a veritable Salon. It was 2011.

I drove by my dilapidated building today, ready to look to the right and be begged by it. It was gone. An asphalt scab striped with the muddy prints of heavy construction equipment were all that remained. The wood, the stone, the ivy, the rot, the begging. Gone.

"Crap," I protested as I drove. "I didn't get a chance."

Friday, February 28, 2014

IN THE BEGINNING. Genesis 2/16-17

Tree of Knowledge
Sebastian Münster (1489 - 1552)
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” Genesis 2:16-17

Good and evil? 
Good, sure. But evil? What evil? This is Eden.

First, a few observations:

"In the day" here once again shows us the yoga-like flexibility of the word day in the Hebrew mind. In one more chapter, Adam will chomp down on forbidden fruit and yet ripen to 930 years old. That's one heck of a "day". So, not to beat a dead Eohippus, but those six days of Creation in Genesis one, if they're even interested in the argument, seem really comfortable with indefinite swaths of time. Not just 24-hour days.

"You will surely die." Not to split hairs, but this is a very different phrase for Elohim to say than "I will kill you." Perhaps this distinction isn't satisfactory for you, but consider; when I am telling my kids to look both ways before crossing a five lane highway, I'm not saying "or I will kill you". Lovingly, I am cautioning them about intrinsic consequences of not looking first. Tangentially, I'm also a bad father for making children cross the highway. The story most likely depicts God warning Adam, not threatening him. The question is, what is the nature of the warning?

"Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.Special trees pop up in many ancient stories. There's a Babylonian bead from about the 22 Century BCE depicting a man and a woman and tree (and even a snake). Egyptians had a Tree of Life. In Greek mythology men and women sometimes turned into trees. This tree in Genesis is interesting because it possesses the ability to impart knowledge. Just what kind of knowledge I find interesting, because there's not supposed to be any "evil" yet at this point in the narrative for Adam.

"Good and Evil" (or as it can be translated from the Hebrew, "Good and Bad") is considered by many not to have so much a moral connotation but the scope of knowledge the tree gives you. This is called a merism. A merism uses two or more ideas to encapsulate everything between them. Such as Elohim creating "Heaven and Earth"- we know from this brief phrase Elohim created everything, and not only the sky and the planet. We use merisms in english. You can "search high and low" for your keys and we'll all know you scoured your whole house in your search, not just the ceiling tiles and the carpet. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is unlikely to be a tree that makes you a savvy saint/sinner hybrid who God must dispatch, but a Tree that imparts the knowledge of all things. And for some reason, that much knowledge is ultimately bad for Adam.


We can't know for sure, although theologians have interesting (and often compelling) assertions to the contrary. For my part I'm interested in how the same knowledge can bring both blessing and curse. For example:

  • The knowledge of metals and how to forge them into various, pointy shapes has had its good and its evil, and surely death has followed. 
  • Black powder dazzled 9th century China's sky with fireworks, and then propelled wads of lead into men's chests. 
  • The process of fermentation has been part of how people enjoy eating and being together, and has also destroyed people's live and entire nations.
  • Human flight puts people into the air to travel abroad, and continues to make them more and more efficient long-range killers. 
  • Atom splitting has thus far proven to be knowledge we mostly aren't ready to have, despite the blessing the resultant energy can be.

In these and a million other examples over the course of history, it's not that the knowledge is bad. Or even good I guess. It's that we humans have proven to have a penchant for turning knowledge into a way of making life hell for ourselves. We surely die. Every time.

I'm reminded of Paul's words to the Corinthians: Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. It's not that true spirituality shuns technology or knowledge. This is, after all, not an Amish blog. Perhaps Paul understood that all these things we learn have the capacity to make one's sense of self bigger than one's sense of being connected to others. As our heads swell with knowledge, our hearts empty of love. We have a history of using what we learn not to unite, but to divide. And that division, that separation, is death. Even if we live another 900 years, if we aren't learning to unite, we're learning to die.

Friday, February 14, 2014

IN THE BEGINNING. Genesis 2/8-15

After two hours of being coached in the company's product catalog, I was invited to make my first couple of calls. This was day one at my new job. I was to call existing accounts and upsell them our latest barcode scanning guns, apparel tags, pricing stickers and service plans. From 8am to 5pm, I'd be required to make at least 80 call attempts and at least 60 actual contacts. My assigned desk was tucked into a claustrophobic gray cubicle within a hive of gray cubicles, in a mustard yellow brick room with no windows and florescent lighting. Soulless voices murmured from behind the short cubicle panels. My new coworkers, cranking through a list of supply managers I'd soon discover never wanted to talk to us about the content of our catalogs, pitied me with their eyes. I was the new inmate.

"Go ahead and call a few on this list and I'll come check on you in a bit." My new manager handed me a headset as she spoke and walked out the steel door. I sat down, staring at the catalog and the stack of over-xeroxed price lists, company history and FAQ's. Out of nowhere, I began weeping.

I needed the work. The pay was far more than the work in radio I had been doing, and the rock-n-roll, anything goes culture hadn't been great for my new faith and morals anyway. This is an improvement, I tried to convince myself as I strapped on the headset and wiped my eyes. 

When you need a job, you don't often get the luxury of doing what you always dreamt. I often encounter men and women who put their families in a bind because, even in the absence of income, they continue to hold out for the career of a lifetime. On the other side, I have a lot of respect for those people who do what they gotta. I have a buddy who, when hard times fell, worked four jobs for a season. It sucked. But they dug out because he put his dreams on hold to do what needed done. They key is what we mean when we say "need".  Some I know have real needs. They're broke. This isn't a disclaimer, it's an acknowledgement of real people. Yet, more often than not I observe most of us having a high-cost way we decide we want to live, a want typically rooted in the soils of comparison with others, and then we come to need accordingly. Thus, we enslave ourselves, having to take jobs based on income. 

I wept not because it was hard work. I wept because I wasn't in any way connected to the work and didn't want to be. I didn't care about what I was doing. I didn't care about the mission of the organization. Alas, I put on my headset and did it. I got promoted a month later to a room with windows and my income nearly doubled. I forgot soon after I didn't care about any of it. But I still didn't.

He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.
-Proverbs 12:11

I know a man who got depressed after a sermon. When it was over he seemed ill. It turned out to be because one point of the message suggested there will be work for us to do in heaven. Whatever the Life to Come looks like, the sermon pointed out, we will have work to do because that is what we're made to do. The man hated his job so much, spending 50+ hours of his life doing it every week, that he couldn't imagine work and heaven going together positively in the same sentence. Like finding out you have to swab the deck on a cruise-liner, he felt tricked and angry.  He was so good at so many things, from cooking to anything pertaining to audio/video, home or auto. But what he did for a living incorporated none of that. He worked to make money, and with his leftover life, tried to shimmy in what he actually was. This, we have unabashedly pronounced, is the American Dream.

I want to stress again that there are, for most all of us, seasons and years where doing something you're soul feels connected to is more a luxury. I understand this. But how much less a luxury might it be if we lived our own life, rather than trying to keep up with others'. How much more happiness is there for people who work according to their own design, rather than the template handed to us by others? How much more happiness is there for us when we do what we're wired for, rather than what keeps us from veering from the well-trodden, secure path?
But Steve I'd be poor. 
Really? Is there anything richer than un-enslaved people being what they are all their waking hours? Even if you had to move to a simpler place, in a simpler house, and lose whatever this crazy competition is we've all signed up for; is there anything less poor than a man or woman living their week in accord with what they actually are?

"And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." Genesis 2:8-15 

Here is Adam- made from earth. Made for earth. And he's working! His life has only just begun and God thinks he'll find Edenic pleasure in a job! He can find it because he's being what he is. He can look a tree in the eye and say I know where you’re coming from. Me too. In fact he can say this to all the animals (Gen 2:19). He’s connected to his work because he understands he is connected to his world and his work is about his world and where it’s going. Adam was made to work and keep the garden*, not do work under duress so he can buy stuff with the little bit of time and energy he has left and wish retirement came sooner. 
For you it doesn't have to be a garden. And it probably shouldn't be done naked. But do you see the heart of the story under the details? Adam is doing for a living what he was made to do, based on his awareness of what he is how the world works, not simply what he's forced to. He's free.
To my young brothers and sisters. High school. College. When you choose what to do with your lives based on keeping a soulless cultural machine running, you will be miserable, even if you forget you are because of the income. The machine doesn't dispense the rewards it promises you for becoming part of it. You are made of soil after all, not metal. You simply weren't made to love what you don't, no matter the compensation. Find a way to honor your parents and what you really are, and find work that is meaningful to you, not just lucrative. Don't strive for money, or security, or cars or houses. Work at something that matters to the most mature part of you. If what matters to you happens to come with a large income, praise God. But don't avoid the field if the pay is comparatively terrible. I promise you you'll never be poor if you do what you are. And I promise the world becomes a better place when people work from their own heart, not someone else's.
To parents. As you guide your children to think of work and their careers, make sure it isn't all duty and responsibility. Those are obviously critically important, but those things are osmotic and are mostly transferred to children by example, not words. Some of the most unhappy people I speak with are those who tell me they do what they do because their parents outlined success for them, even against their actual wiring. There's little to be gained by someone choosing a career field for the financial gain. Even if you find it threatening and strange, help your kids choose something that resonates with what they actually are. And they'll be free. One of the highest parental reviews is raising children who turn out free.
To everyone else. If you're already in a job that drains you more than it fills you because, ultimately, it has nothing to do with who you are, step carefully. But take steps. Think soberly about what holds your feet to the fire. You may find, like so many people have, that their entire life is secured to the tether of their mortgage. Easier blogged than done, but would you be willing to move if it meant you could be freer? What emotional, or even logical hurdles pop up when you entertain that? Or entertain a quality, but less expensive car(s)? What is it that gives you the sense you're trapped doing what you're doing? It may be legitimate. It may simply be the season you're in. In that case, do it exceedingly well. (Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:7) But you may find other reasoning. Or no reasoning at all. Terrifying as it may seem, you may have more control over the situation than you realized. You can take the blue pill and go on variously miserable and resolved most of your waking hours, or the red pill** and start living the story God wired you for, even if others think you're nuts for all that comes with a decision of that countercultural magnitude. Have the conversation, especially with the others in your home, and make a plan. 
That's enough for now. Back to work.

* In the Hebrew "work" is abad. This word means service, and actually puts Adam in a very humble role toward his environment. He doesn't dominate it, but serves it out of an understanding of it. "Keep" is shamar, which means to observe, watch-over. This not only has huge implications for what it means for spiritual people and how they treat the environment, but also in thinking about our careers. Can we find work we believe in if we're not the leader who's gazed upon by others, but are the server and the observer.
** If you haven't seen The Matrix, this reference may make little sense. Rest assured, I am not advising people feeling miserable navigate their situation with color-coded pills. 

Monday, February 10, 2014


“…then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Genesis 2:7 ESV

There is nothing as satisfying to me than the creating of my own hands. 
I replaced my mailbox the other day and felt elated. All my measurements and cuts were right the first time. Bring it on, mailman.
I recently played Rush’s “Red Barchetta” on my bass nearly all the way through. On my couch. I felt ready to take my show on the road. 
With critically important help and input from Kristi, I made some Maine-style Lobster Rolls (yes I capitalized Lobster Rolls, because of respect and because of delicious) a few months back, and sent myself moaning in ecstasy on the floor. 
I drew a picture of an animal from memory for one of my daughters, and felt exhilarated by it taking shape in front of me. I sensed a desire to keep going. To keep drawing, faster and faster, as though speed would bring it to life.
I had an idea and wrote a short story recently all in one setting. Beginning to end, in two hours. I could levitate afterward. 
I made an ad hoc spaceship (qualifying me, as I've recently learned, for Master Builder) with my son, feeling pretty good about it. When his jaw dropped, I felt even better about it.

There’s nothing like making to me. And the only thing that can come along side it is sharing what I’ve made, whether out of ego or charity or mutuality, with others.
I’m sure the sweater-wearing psychoanalysts have interesting and even compelling explanations for all this. Validation hunting. Control out of chaos. Sense of accomplishment against the deeper sense of disappointment. Blobbity  blah blah.
When God forms Adam, the word form is translated from the hebrew “yatsar”. In one sense it means to narrow or squeeze. To squish. Which leads to the broader meaning; yatsar describes what potters do when they are making earthen vessels, pots or bowls, or even statues. Add to this “Adam” literally means soil, and the verse is pretty vivid. Adam, who might as well be named Clay, (Claude? Phil? I could keep going) is formed by an Artist. He is made as  something between a piece of art and a vessel to fulfill a duty, and is breathed into living. 
This isn’t just clever etymology. It’s a good reminder: humans are historically humus, which should keep us humble. 
Millennia after this text was written in Genesis, the apostle Paul would say to his brothers and sisters about their new faith and realized identity in the Christ: 
“…we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Workmanship, translated from the Greek “poiema”, carries with it the sense of more than just construction. It's something between a piece of art and a vessel to fulfill a duty. A living, breathing statue of what God is like: the source of life, and of goodness.
Be reminded today that you are far more than an assortment of instincts looking for a meal and a mate.
You aren’t a pointless amalgam of materials having cruelly developed the ability to wonder about purpose and meaning that were never there. 
You are not accidental.
You are not incidental. 
You are not at your core loathed by God, or simply tolerated because of some deal Jesus made with his mean but almighty daddy.
You are art. 
Art that can observe herself and her world and move beautifully in it. 
For it
On behalf of its Creator. 
You are art that can see his life as integrated with the rest of creation and yet mysteriously disparate from it, being humble and yet confident by his own sense of belonging to both Maker and made. 
You are art that does good and loving sorts of things- never an animal subjected to its own selfishness to do selfish things.
May the Potter reshape you today, breathe into your nostrils the breath of life, and lead you to walk in the good works you were crafted in the Christ to walk in. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

IN THE BEGINNING Genesis 2/4-6

"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground" Genesis 2:4-6 ESV

Some new details in the origin story emerge here. Some say so much change occurs it's apparent this is a different writing, from different authors, attached at one point in antiquity to Genesis 1. Others believe it's the same author throughout (traditionally Moses), but he's now digging into the details of creation since the overarching narrative of chapter 1 is complete.

I lean toward it being a once different oral tradition, finally written down and added to the account. Different author. Different take. Same heart. There's a few reasons I feel this way, though I'm not one to say I've got the truth cornered on all this:

*Genesis 1 is poetic, grand and climactic. Genesis 2 is folkish, plain.
*Genesis 1 has an order. Genesis 2 is not only not concerned with order, it's a different order than 1.
*Plant life occurs on Day 3 in chapter 1. Plant life hasn't yet taken off until Adam arrives, according to chapter 2.
*Genesis 1 has man and woman made, by God speaking, simultaneously. Genesis 2, as you'll see, depicts man from clay, then woman from man's side.
*Genesis 1 depicts Elohim. Genesis 2 introduces us to God's name, the Tetragrammaton, YHWH ("Yahweh", "Jehovah"...the pronunciation is unknown) translated in our modern english as "LORD God" (YHWH Elohim).
* To begin digging into the hypothesis that there are different authors and sources throughout Genesis, grab a shovel and start here.

An interesting side note is the use of the word "day" in Genesis to speak of the entirety of the Creative process. "in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens'. It's often argued that "yom" primarily means a 24-hour day in hebrew. Especially when numbered as it is in chapter 1 and "night and day" are used in conjunction. Here we have however, a chapter later, the same hebrew word yom used to describe the whole period of creation, earth and heaven, referred to as a "day". This should give us more than a bit of latitude as we discuss the age of things, and how long it took to make them.

My real interest in today's passage has to do with the culture it originally spoke to. Notice the challenge presented as the text sets the stage for Adam's existence. The necessary gears for successful agriculture aren't yet in place. No rain, and no workers. Just a mist watering the ground, which we can assume meant there were some plants, but the "good ones" weren't present yet. Or, the mist just kept the plantless mud wet. The issue presented isn't just that there were no humans yet. 

The fields were bare, and there was no such thing as farming to make them otherwise.

If you're reading this blog, chances are you don't live an agrarian life. The vast, vast minority of us have anything to do with the production of food, crops or livestock. Gardens and pets not withstanding, most of us don't have an understanding of the world Genesis came from and was originally intended for. That's not to say we in modern times can't benefit from it unless we milked something other than a carton today. It's simply to remind us that we are so far removed from the context that we have to work very hard to get to the heart of what's being told to us.

I have this conversation with people a lot. They can't understand - or they disagree with - something they find in the scriptures. Naïveté. Narrowness. Violence. Moral bankruptcy. I don't feel compelled to defend the Bible like I used to. I often just ask if the person believes they would feel the same way if, rather than being at the top of society as most of us in the US are (at least relative to the whole of history) looking down and back at the scriptures, they were at the bottom, looking up and forward. What if what you are reading came from oppression, hardship, poverty and having to work in order to not die? What if the narrative assumes you need hope in a comparatively hopeless situation, some comfort and a reminder that your life, however scorned and abused by the upper echelons of society, is deeply sacred. Sacred enough to be hand-designed in the Beginning by YHWH Elohim. Suddenly the severity of some of the violence, if still not justifiable, becomes understandable. The simplicity of the people and their views on keeping a nomadic, off-grid way of life together becomes coherent and respectable. God's severity with other stronger nations on behalf of Israel becomes a little easier to digest. The sense of the underdogs' needing powerful Advocacy resonates, and seems truer to human history than our current ability as a privileged people to implicitly judge god as morally beneath us.

The story starts really, really simple. And, if we're ranking; really really low. A relatively unsophisticated people celebrated that God, the LORD God of the Universe, created all things and then stooped low enough to care for basic needs. Beauty, agriculture, life, rest, food, and knowing you're as much a part of a sacred story as anyone else.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

IN THE BEGINNING. Genesis 2/1-3

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." -Genesis 2:1-3

Even if the six days of creation in the comparatively very recent past are literal, I doubt God ever needs time off. Colossians 1:17 says Christ, who is the image of the otherwise invisible, holds all things together. Perhaps holding things together is different than creating things, but it seems like everything would come flying apart each Saturday if the Binding of the universe clocked out for some R&R. 
There’s been an astronomical basis for measuring time presented thus far in Genesis, either directly stated or implied. Earth’s rotation creates the measurements we call nights and days. Then there are months, which are fairly accurately measured by moon phases. Then there are seasons, the experience of them varying by our geography and each corresponding to earth’s tilt toward or away from the sun. This phenomenon gives us equinoxes and solstices. Then of course there’s the year; one full trip around the sun. 
But the seven-day week isn’t directly tied to anything astronomical. There's a few ways of cutting up lunation (an average lunar cycle) to get to something close to a week, but it breaks down. Yet, despite numerous attempts to change it (a ten day system France tried that failed, a five-then-six day system the Soviets tried after that which failed, to name just a couple from modernity), the seven day week is and has long been, nearly ubiquitous.. No one is sure why. Frankly, it may have been God’s idea. And for ancient Israel, it also seemed to be God’s idea that this week ended in rest.
The Fourth Command states that Israel was to remember the sabbath and keep it set apart. Reference is made within that command to this very passage in Genesis two. When you think of it, not working one day a week as a top ten rule was probably a decent recruitment tool for Jewish proselytizers. “Sign up now and get a holiday every week for the rest of your life.” This perhaps served as a counterbalance to circumcision, an issue that made male conversion a bit tricky I’m sure. 
Breaking the Sabbath by the way was a capital crime. That is to say, “Rest, or you will be made to do so permanently!” Strange, I admit. However, I’m drawn to the mystery of such a strange, weighty command, to Sabbath and keep that day holy, being couched between commands 1-3 and 5. The first three outline properly honoring God. The fifth details properly honoring parents. What we have then, Kosher-sandwiched between rules about your relationship with your Creator and your creators, is the command to, fifty two times a year, stop creating. 
You aren’t what you make.
You are simply made.
Respect these facts every week, for one day.
The thing about astronomical events is that we do not control them. They simply are, and will affect what they will. But the seven-day week, and our resting at the end of it, are more a matter of the mind. We control it. And the template we are given in a Universe in which most everything happens with or without our consent allows us to thumb our noses a productivity, at anxiety and the impulse for constant motion, and to blow things off in the Name of the Lord.
I’ve been told a few times the reason a person doesn’t take time off is that they love their job. This misunderstands rest. We are not told to rest if we hate our jobs. We are told to rest because we are not our jobs. Even great-paying ones. Sabbath isn’t just for slaves. It’s so that none of us get tricked into ever becoming slaves again.
I've been told numerous times that a person cannot takes days off, or have rests throughout their job, because their schedule and responsibilities are just too demanding. Tough, I get it. But perhaps this helps us understand what it had to be commanded. Perhaps this helps us see why it was a capital offense. because, as has been pointed out by better thinkers than I; when our existence is inextricably ties to the production of our careers, are we really alive anyway?
I am often told a person can't take time off because they can't sit still, that they love moving and that being still and quiet make them crazy. To them, I would like to commiserate. I am frenetic. My mind never wants to stop. But motion is all too often a way of never facing concrete reality. Our constant doing is often a sure sign that we fear facing the idea that we may be disappointments, that we're actually quite screed of our thoughts and true desires. And so we run not to doing, but away from being. These people are prime candidates for rest. I pray they don't have to run themselves empty or dead to realize it.
It all began with tohu wa bohu. Wild, waste and chaos. The very picture of “unmade”. And then God created all things, humanity toward the very end. The seventh day, the last of the week, God rests from making. But that last day was really the first day for humanity. We’d just shown up and we’re already supposed to kick our feet up. We begin not with productivity, but with sharing in God’s rest. Why? Because all our making is derivative anyway. All our imagination is merely the reorganization of what the True Creator came up with. So relax. Stop thinking the clock needs your winding. The Universe works without us. Work hard, and then stop. Work hard, and then stop. Everything else keeps going. God and people know when to stop.