God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from his work of creation.
One of the restaurants my wife and I frequent has a section on its menu called "Guilt-Free Desserts," which is designed to appeal to all of us who worry about our weight and cholesterol. It is a delight to think that there is a dessert you can eat and enjoy without feeling guilty.
But I've never heard of anything called guilt-free resting. If anything, busyness is increasingly becoming a badge of honor, and Christian leaders are among the best at claiming that badge of honor. Imagine a scenario of four Christian leaders trying to establish a time to meet. Three of them whip out Day-Timers and electronic organizers, shake their heads, and confess that the best time to meet would be in about seventeen months.
Then the fourth person says, "Schedule it anytime. I'm not real busy"—and the other three stare in amazement. "Not real busy?" they echo incredulously, believing that all Christian leaders who serve devoutly take pride in their busyness.
Yet I think the world could use some unbusy Christian leaders who would testify to the truth that the world is in God's hands, not our own. Nothing is wrong with hard work—with pouring ourselves wholeheartedly into what we are doing in the service of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we need to rest. Even God rested, and the Old Testament is forthright about keeping the Sabbath as a day of rest. As Christian leaders we have the responsibility of building time into our own schedules to rest and be refreshed. If God could look back at six days of creative work and call it good, then maybe we as Christian leaders should do the same.
– Steve McKinley
Am I keeping the Sabbath by planning a time in my schedule for adequate rest?
Lord of the Sabbath, help me to make rest and refreshment a priority, and free me from the need to be indispensable.
Something to Think About
"I am not the Christ."
– John the Baptist
Copyright Tyndale House Publishers.
Used by permission.
When was the last time you felt really, truly refreshed? Between late night committee meetings, weekends of services, and round-the-clock availability for counseling and crises, the demands of ministry all too often leave leaders feeling physically exhausted and spiritually limp. While we all know the importance of rest and renewal, it can be difficult to allow ourselves to take time out of our day to rest and renew our bodies and souls.