We all must make a conscious decision to make time for things other than work. If we don’t, we’ll never rest. I make a conscious decision about how many hours I’ll work each week, and I stick to it. I encourage everyone to do the same thing. Otherwise, we’ll quickly burn out.
It’s like a bow and arrow. When a bow is constantly strung tight, it loses its power. It has to be unstrung periodically. You need to force yourself to set realistic hours and then hold yourself accountable — and ask someone to check up on you in the process.
Getting proper rest isn’t pop psychology or just good advice. It’s so important that even God rested on the seventh day when He created everything — not because He was tired but to give us an example of how we should rest. It’s so important to the heart of God that He put it in the Ten Commandments — along with “Do not murder,” “Do not lie,” and “Do not steal.” “Take a day off every seven days” made it on God’s top 10 list of moral behaviors. Shouldn’t it make it on ours too?
The Bible says, “You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to Me” (Exodus 20:9-10). We call this the Sabbath, which simply means a “day of rest.” What do you do on your Sabbath?
1. Rest your body. If you don’t take time off, your body will make you take time off. Your back will go out. You’ll get a headache. You’ll get the flu. God didn’t design our bodies to go without rest. That’s why sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do on your Sabbath is to take a nap!
2. Recharge your emotions. Everyone does this differently. For some recharging happens through quietness. Others rejuvenate through recreation. Still others rejuvenate through relationships. Discover what it takes to recharge your emotions and make it a regular part of your Sabbath.
3. Refocus your spirit. You need to worship on your Sabbath. Take time to focus on God instead of all of your problems. Worship puts everything else in perspective. It shrinks your problems. It reminds you that God is still on His throne. He’ll help you through whatever struggles you’re going through. Suddenly the problem you’ve stressed over all week long won’t be near as big any more.
We all need a Sabbath in our lives. It doesn’t have to be on Sunday. It can be any day of the week, but you need to take one day off a week to rest your body, recharge your emotions, and refocus your spirit.
For Your Reflection:
• What kinds of mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical signs do you notice when you aren’t getting enough rest?
• What tends to be your biggest obstacle to taking a weekly Sabbath?
• What’s the best way for you to recharge your emotions? (RICK WARREN)