When I wrote this, I was on the eve of leaving for our annual family vacation.
While getting ready my wife asked me, “So, are you going to be working while we’re in Southampton or are you going to be able to rest?” She went on to add, “You won’t have any coach appointments next week, will you? I hope not.”
Actually, I did have a couple of things I had planned to respond to while away. Yet, after reflecting on her question, I called those people and rescheduled.
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to totally disconnect from work-mode. Mind you, when I do finally disconnect, I love it. However, it takes me awhile.
The ancient Greeks had a saying that I remember when I am resisting rest…
“You will break the bow if you keep it always bent.”
We all need time away from work to relax and recover.
The late Tim Hansel wrote in his classic “When I Relax I Feel Guilty,”
“When work becomes a person’s all consuming interest, even if the work is good and necessary, it is idolatry.”
Strong words, but words worth taking to heart.
How can we keep our work from becoming a form of idolatry in our lives?
I suspect that as part of our Mavericks’ community, you are not a slouch! I also suspect that while you work hard, you also know that you are to “rest” – really rest. You know that honouring the Sabbath is to be part of who you are as a leader. You desire that to be the case, and yet, if you are like many I know, this may feel far from reality.
Here are a few thoughts to help inspire you to give yourself permission to do some deliberate leisure – to find some rest!.
The word ‘leisure’, from its Latin roots is ‘licere’ – which means ‘to be permitted’. If we are ever going to install leisure into the hard drives of our lives, we must give ourselves permission to do so.
For me, it includes taking care of myself in what I call my RPMS…
I have 3 practices that help me ensure my RPMS is in a solid place:
- Divert daily
- Withdraw weekly
- Abandon annually
Everyone achieves relaxation and leisure in different ways. What relaxes me might give you a tension headache and visa versa!
For me it involves regular downtimes—releasing the bent bow – putting limits on my work schedule and getting away for regular weekends.
Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, it’s informative to look at the Hebrew idea of Sabbath. The way the Hebrews understood the concept of ‘Sabbath’ was that the Creator had built into our physical makeup a need—even a requirement—for a day each week for rest, play, reflection, worship, and change of pace.
Taking care of your body is as much a spiritual discipline as is prayer, singing and Bible study. God wants you to rest. Rest your body and, in the process, recharge your mind, spirit and relationships.
The Apostle Paul says:
“God helping you, take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and place it before God as an offering” Romans 12:1 (MSG).
When you take care of your body, you worship God. It’s never too late to begin this important journey in your life.
If you need permission, look to our Saviour Jesus. He knew about the rhythms of rest and work. He invites us, as He did His disciples, to come away with Him and rest. In essence He was saying,
“If you don’t come apart, you will come apart”.
“The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:30-31 (MSG)