Amazingly, the ego of humanity is seriously deceitful. Most of the time, we think we know ourselves and our limitations well. In my opinion, most of us are attempting to deceive ourselves.
What in the world am I talking about? And who in the world am I talking to?
I’m talking about the need for some rest, a day off, a brief vacation, or an extended sabbatical. Such a respite in the regular duties and functions of your ministry role is quite often just what the doctor ordered.
You probably just read those last two sentences and shirked them off, thinking that this isn’t about you. Friend, the Great Physician has a word for you that I need to deliver: you are no better than Jesus.
So you’re a pastor or other ministry leader, and you carry a heavy burden for the people of your community and church. You have been charged with the tremendous task of servant-leadership within the Kingdom of God. So what. You’re still not any better than Jesus.
At the risk of offending you, let me repeat that. You are no better than Jesus!
Jesus carried the most significant ministry burden of all time, but He still took time for rest. Jesus did it and so should you.
Seriously, my friend. Do you think you are any better than Jesus? He is Son of God and Son of Man, the Miracle Working Lamb of God that carried the burden of sin for all humanity. And He took time for rest.
So tell me again about how your ministry is so important that you can’t take a regular day off. You are so needed that if you don’t work seven days a week for seven weeks straight, the Kingdom of God might not make it. If you miss the next deadline, the entire Church could be forever compromised. Yeah, right?! Yes, this paragraph is written with a facetious tone of sarcasm.
Here’s what you need to understand, that you can’t really know until you begin this practice. Routine times of rest will cause you to become rejuvenated in an unexplainable manner. You’ll be more creative in your regular tasks if you pause from them on a routine basis and do something different.
The thing (or even activity) that brings you rest and rejuvenation might be entirely different from what does it for others. But I tell you that you must find what relaxes your mind and eases your stress while getting you in the sweet frame of fellowship with Christ.
For me, a great time of rest could include a half-day of sitting in my pajamas, reading and writing the day away. For you, it might mean getting up at an unreasonable hour and temperature of the morning and sitting up high in a tree. Or maybe you just need to spend the day baking and listening to soothing music.
Whatever it is that does it for you, just do it. Clear your schedule, escape the pressure, and just do it. And don’t feel guilty about it. The effectiveness of your future ministry depends on it.
God commenced this principle of resting after work, before more creative tasks (see Genesis 2:1-3). Jesus modeled what practicing this looks like.
Jesus did it. Why can’t you?