Well it is the end of October...and that means that things are getting crazy in the Gage house. Things are starting to take off with the Christmas production, which involves several nights of rehearsals, bad eating, and little rest! However, I need to confess that I have felt some extra stress over the past month. With Ashley working as much as she can before the baby comes, my works schedule has been adjusted. There are days that I feel like I don't get anything done; and then there are days where it is smooth sailing. But I am sure all people feel that way about their jobs. I am blessed to have a job that allows me the freedom of flexibility...but there are times that the O.C.D. side of me wants to kick in and work overtime.
I have always been a person that has never rested well. What I mean is that, though there is this desire in me to rest and take vacation...I am not very good at it. Just as my wife! Even at night, it takes me a while to wind down, because there are so many thoughts going through my mind!
But God is faithful and was quick to reveal himself to me this week! In my quiet time the other day, I landed on a simple statement in the book of Mark. It says "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." In my tired state, I remember thinking, "Okay Lord, that is what I am trying to do...but I am in the wrong book of the bible." And I did not think twice about the quote.
Later that night, I was reading a book and there was a section titled "Rediscovering Rest." Are you picking up on the pattern here? In the short essay, the author, Lea Collins, is pointing to the importance-physically, emotionally, and spiritually-of taking a Sabbath. In our culture, people here the word Sabbath and immediately think of Sunday. Sunday is the preferred day of rest for thousands of people in this country. As I was reading, two thoughts came to my mind. 1st) What about those people involved in ministry...when is their Sabbath? 2nd) what does it mean to me to take Sabbath?
As I pondered these thoughts, I knew there was some restructuring that needed to happen in my life. For me, a Sabbath means to take a complete departure from the other days of the week. It is requiring me to find a day, that I can shut out the things from the office and take a moment and focus on my family and focus on me. When I first thought about it, I started to feel guilty about finding time for myself...especially when there was so much to be done. But I thought about a statement made by Lea Collins:
"Do we really think we can worship, serve, and live in the fullness and excellence God desires if we don't learn the discipline of rest? "
How many of us get over committed with family responsibilities, work, and even ministry commitments? It is no wonder people get burnout and change jobs so frequently. For me, I realized how much I love doing what I do. If I can't imagine myself doing anything else, then maybe I should spend a little more time stopping and listening to what He has to say!
So I have made Fridays my Sabbath! Since Sundays are spent in preparation for the Lord's day, and Friday's are my day off, it only made sense that Friday is my day of rest.I know it may sound redundant and elementary in thought, but I guess I need to say it out loud, so that I don't try to find ways to let the things of work creep in and stop me from finding my place of reflection and my source of renewal!
"We are called to worship God with the very best we have. When we run out of out best and do not have that to give, our call is to worship God with our rest."
Ask yourself, "When was the last time you had a Sabbath day?"