Please understand that leisure is more than idle free time not devoted to paid occupations. Some of the most valuable work done in the world has been done at leisure...and never paid for in cash.
Leisure is free activity. Labour is compulsory activity. In leisure, we do what we like, but in labour we do what we must. In our labour we meet the objective needs and demands of others—our employer, the public, people who are impacted by and through our work. But in leisure we scratch the subjective itches within ourselves.
In leisure our minds are liberated from the immediate, the necessary. As we incorporate leisure into the mainstream of our world, we gain perspective. We lift ourselves above the grit and grind of mere existence.
Interestingly, leisure comes from the Latin word licere, which means, "to be permitted." If we are ever going to inculcate leisure into our otherwise utilitarian routine, we must give ourselves permission to do so.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.