“Ministry is long. And busy. And never seems to end. I love it, I think it’s important, and I don’t bemoan doing it (well, most of the time), but it is constant.”
That line, especially the “I love it” inserted in the middle caught my attention from a blog that a skim through each week. Finding Time to Rest (Part 1) was an excellent read. The constant pounding of ministry upon a person’s time, energy, emotions, and spiritual strength can act like an adrenaline rush but it can also wear a person down and out if not kept in check. This is an area that I know I have to keep addressing in my life and labor. Especially since I will be getting married in sixteen days and want to properly care for my wife and our marriage.
The blog made an excellent point when it comes to finding time to rest: If Jesus needed to do it so do you. Here are a few more tips from the article:
We need to be refreshed. Tragically, we often don’t take the time to do it. Or we rest, but don’t invest spiritually because of all the other time we spend studying, preparing messages, and reading blogs during the week. We functionally act as if that is enough, even though once again it’s pouring into others. Selflessness is great, but if Jesus needed to take time away from everything, so do we.
Take out a Bible and look up the two passages at the top [Mark 1:35; 6:45-46]. Seriously, grab a Bible and turn there. Look what’s around them. There’s intensity to Jesus ministry. Not to compare us to Jesus, but there’s times when ministry is really busy, and those times are frequent. Bottom line, we cannot pour into others if we don’t take the time to be refreshed ourselves. That’s what Jesus modeled. It usually doesn’t happen through services that we’re in some way involved in. It doesn’t happen (usually) when we’re studying with the point of teaching. We need to take the time out ourselves.
God created the Sabbath for a reason. It’s a pattern for us to follow. We don’t need to be legalistic about it, but we do need to be realistic about the way God has wired us – that we need rest. So, if you haven’t done it, schedule a time to rest. Take the day to be with family. Mark off part of that time to be alone with God. Don’t check your work email. At all. Don’t peek. Emails can wait. Don’t plan out your events, or try to multitask with family. God told us to rest, let’s honor Him by resting.