Hebrews 4:9-10 (NIV) There remains, then, a Sabbath‑rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.
Yesterday I felt like I had a real Sabbath day. When was the last time you had a real Sabbath day?
For me it has literally been years. Yes I have had days off, but it isn’t the same. My days off are typically filled with family obligations, catching up on work I didn’t get done that week, a recreation activity, or any number of other things that keep my life running at the normal fast pace I am used to. Day off means I don’t sit at my desk, it doesn’t mean I slow down.
This passage, among others, describes a Sabbath as resting in God and resting from work. It is something more than just physical rest, but also spiritual and emotional rest.
Yesterday I went to church in the morning and then went home. No meetings, no activities planned, no meal out…and it felt really weird. My family is out of town visiting extended family and I leave for my next trip in the morning, so this day just happened by accident.
The house was quiet, I watched TV, took a nap, did a few household tasks, and a whole lot of nothing. I did NOT check my email, go onto social media, write anything, read anything, or feel guilty about wasting time.
Today I feel refreshed. I am not good at slowing down, and not good at taking a real Sabbath. As a pastor this is a major challenge, then throw in that I am a very goal oriented person that doesn’t like to waste time and it is no surprise that days like yesterday don’t happen often.
I don’t think I am alone in this fault. I give you permission, waste an entire day doing nothing! Take an actual Sabbath day and don’t feel guilty about it. Ready…set…DON’T DO ANYTHING!
Late spring and summer have always been a time of evaluation. One on one meetings with all my youth staff, a youth staff retreat/evaluation meeting, and fleshing out changes that are needed are all things that happen during this season. September to Christmas is the height of our effectiveness, and summer is when we “do our homework” to prepare for it.
Mission trip, camps, student leader trip, family vacation, and all-church family camp all are happening this summer. I am gone more than I am home, and this has been the norm for me almost every summer. Every single one of these trips play an important role in my overall ministry and family success, important enough to dominate my life for a few months.
3. Outdoor fun
In between everything above anything left over is filled with outdoor fun. The Idaho culture is we live here to play, and outdoor recreation options abound and are close. This is my favorite thing about living in Idaho, and I embrace this gladly. Days at the lake, camping, golfing, mountains, trees, sunshine, BBQs, pools, and…. all involve both family and ministry and I love it.
In my attempt at keeping my life in the right order of priority(read more about this here), the identity of “blogger” gets pushed down the list during the summer months (as it already has). I value you and am honored that you read what my feeble mind spits out onto this site, but my posts will be inconsistent at best over the next few months. Thanks for your understanding in this, and please do check back as I will try and post as much as time and life allows.
What changes does summer bring for you and your ministry? Whatever it is, I hope you embrace it and enjoy the change!
These words by Jesus are words every Christian should be living out, yet many aren’t.
Yesterday was my tenth wedding anniversary, and this weekend our boys are staying with Grandma and Grandpa, and my wife and I are enjoying life together for a few days. As I think back over the past ten years, there have been a lot of fun times and I can say we definitely have lived life to the full because of Jesus.
There have also been times when we (mostly me) have not enjoyed life and lived it to the full. There is always so much to do, whether with ministry stuff, kids stuff, career stuff, house stuff… It is easy to get lost in it all and forget to enjoy life.
One of my best friends told me “slow down and enjoy my bride” this weekend. Those are great words of advice.
Do you need to slow down and celebrate? Maybe a marriage milestone, a ministry victory, or even just having fun for fun sake. If you need permission to live life to the full, consider this permission. You can’t enjoy life when it is going at 100 miles an hour. Slow down and celebrate!