Learning the Rhythms of Work and Rest

“The rhythms of work and rest are fundamental to our well-being.” – Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

I spent my twenties and early thirties running hard and fast with very time allowed for rest. It wasn’t that I was out partying or going “crazy.” Rather I was a workaholic like my forefathers before me.

For example, there was a time in my mid-twenties when I worked a full-time salaried job (think 40+ hours), joined a church planting team, went to school (VLI), and led/participated a few local church ministries in the sending church. I did all this while living an hour drive away from my day-job and sending church. So yeah, I was one busy guy – and I loved every moment of it!!

Somehow the Spirit of the Living God was able to break into my busy life and began the hard job of teaching me to slow down.

One of the things that the Spirit used to slow me down was my two sons. It may sound strange to think of children as something to help you find rest, but that’s my strange life! 😀

You see, over the years of being a parent I have noticed how much my kids need down times at home. They, like myself, have a strong desire to go out and have adventures in the wider world. Playing with friends, being at the park, going here or there…. yet as I watched them, I’ve noticed that there is something powerfully therapeutic about being home with all the family members.

Accordingly I have found myself staying home more and more these last few years. And in doing so, I have discovered that I do better with down days at home – which is quite the self-realization!

This doesn’t mean that I have stopped doing things. It just means that I’ve come very picky about what things I do and how often I do them.

The sirens of doing still call with their song tugging on my heart….but I’ve gotten better as resisting their song. And that is a good thing.

[The Sabbath is] a weekly reminder of our pledge to follow Jesus with our whole hearts, soul, bodies, and minds. To deny the Sabbath is to tell Jesus that we don’t trust him; that we have to keep on working in order to make things happen. The reverse is also true, to observe the Sabbath is to tell him and ourselves that God is in charge…

“To observe the Sabbath [is] to refocus our hearts toward Jesus and give us the strength to keep walking towards him. For, let’s face it, following Jesus is hard work. We are constantly in a battle with the sin within us, the evil one, and the culture around us as well as with the forces of nature. We need some time to stop and refocus.” – quote from The Here and Not Yet

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