It’s Thanksgiving! We’re taking a short break from the blog … and you know what? You should probably take a break, too. Check out these helpful articles we’ve pulled from the vault for some of our best resources on rest. If you like what you see, click the title for the full article.
Those of us working in churches need to learn how to rest well, because we have churches full of people who need to learn this, too. So let’s lead the way here. Let’s turn off the email notifications on our phones. Let’s stop pulling the laptop out after dinner and working until 3:00 a.m. If you’re working on Saturday and Sunday, make sure you take a weekday off. God isn’t honored by a frantic and phenomenal burnout, so take the time you need to rest.
To recover a rhythm in your life, you need intentionality and constancy. Designate a recurring time for the important parts of your life, and stick to it. Do your quiet time at the same time every day. Carve out time with your spouse and your children. And if your work is like mine—requiring many of the same activities week after week—then follow a pattern. Brainstorm, execute, celebrate, rest.
I fear that for many people, you will grow old and realize that you gave away the greatest moments of your lives to an elusive future that didn’t deliver what it offered. I’m not talking about sacrifice for the mission (which we can—and should—joyfully embrace). I’m talking about yearning and endlessly working for that ethereal something to fulfill you somewhere out there in the future.
One of the most practical reasons for the Sabbath is to remind us regularly that we are not in control, that we are not God. Many of us are so stressed out because we are carrying a burden of security that God never intended for us to carry. The gospel reminds us that our security is ultimately in God’s hands, not our own. To paraphrase Paul, God did not spare his own Son—won’t he also freely give us all that we need (Romans 8:30)? If we understand that “the Lord builds the house” and “the Lord watches the city,” we can sleep peacefully at night (Psalm 127:1-3).