Conntecting the Dots

Sabbath Rest

My life is not what some might consider “normal.” Take this weekend, for instance. My husband and I were at Missions Fest Alberta in Edmonton. Among other assignments, we manned our International Messengers booth on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday morning, we spoke at a church about 1 ½ hours’ drive from the conference venue. Then we returned to our booth where we talked with attendees until 5:30. That’s when the exhibition hall closed and we packed up our banners and brochures. Two flights and several hours later, we rolled into our own bed, exhausted.

Working weekends is what we do. If I’m not involved in ministry directly related to International Messengers, then I’m often speaking at a retreat somewhere and traveling home in the late afternoon or evening. However, when Monday morning dawns, my to-do list is waiting for me. Upcoming speaking engagements need my attention. So does the new DVD and study guide project. Book proposals wait to be penned. And then there’s the follow-up for people who have expressed an interest in summer ministry trips. And what about laundry, grocery shopping, housecleaning, and spending time with my kids and grandbabies?

Our ministry is expanding. Without a doubt, it could consume me. It would be easy to work seven days a week. In fact, I’ve been guilty of doing so. I’ve had good intentions of taking off a complete day mid-week to rest, but I’ve not been successful in pulling it off. I’ve struggled with a nagging fear that someone or something will fall between the cracks. Heaven forbid, something will be left undone and ministry will falter. But today I’m facing that fear.

I’m acknowledging that refusing to stop for one day is disobedience to God’s command for Sabbath rest (Leviticus 23:3 for one). It’s evidence that I’m depending on my own strength to accomplish ministry, and I want no part of that. And so, I’m making changes. They might take a few weeks to fully implement, and they might have to be flexible especially when we’re overseas for several weeks and taking a day to rest simply isn’t possible. They might even mean not writing a Monday blog once in a while. Regardless, I’m going to ask God to help me honor His command. After all, it’s for my own good. This is tough for me, considering my personality, but I’m looking forward to seeing how God will grant me wisdom and success in this endeavor.

How about you? What insights do you have about taking a Sabbath rest? If anyone out there has an abnormal schedule like mine, what advice can you offer?

 Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Responses to “Sabbath Rest”

  1. DiAnn Mills

    I was convicted several months ago that I was not taking a Sabbath Rest. Before that, I’d take a Sabbath Rest then I’d be on deadline and begin working again. Not anymore! I’m healthier, happier, and growing closer to God since I made a choice to honor God on His day. More productive and being blessed. I might be traveling in ministry and can’t attend my home church, but the day is still God’s.

    The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan is a wonderful book for direction on what God wants for His followers.

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  2. Leslie Vernick

    I struggle with the same things. Having an office at home doesn’t help draw strict boundaries and there is always something to be attended to whether at home or at work. A secular book that addresses this culturally is called In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore. I’d highly recommend it.

    I just completed writing a series of Christian and psychology blogs that were due on Sunday at 5pm – always tempting me to edit, tweak, and sometimes even write Sunday afternoon. I’m done with those and hopefully will regain my Sabbath Rest again.

    Reply
    • Grace

      Thanks for the book suggestion, Leslie. It sounds like a good one.

      RE: blogging on Sunday. Sometimes I justify doing that by saying, “Writing is a form of relaxation for me.” In reality, I wonder if it would be better to give my brain a complete rest. Go for a walk. Play with my grandkids. Invite friends over for coffee and a board game. I remember my growing up years, when my folks always took a nap and then we’d go for a drive and buy ice cream. Those were the days.

      Reply

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