Monday, January 12, 2009

Rest...IV (Sabbath)

First, make sure you've read these blog posts...
Rest (part I)
Rest (part II)
Rest (part III)

Now before we move on to Rest (part IV), we must remember these two principles;
1) Sabbath = for US (Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath)
2) Sabbath = REST

Today is my Sabbath.  The past week was a very busy one and the coming three weeks look extremely busy for me.  Besides the usual load of pastoring, I have a couple of weeks in a row with Tue, Wed, Thur evening commitments, plus an all-day Saturday.  So all that to say, these Sabbath days are crucial for me right now. 

A couple of years ago I was attending a Leadership Conference where a pastor shared a message titled "Dead Leader Running."  Pastor Wayne Cordeiro is the pastor of an extremely large and successful church in Hawaii of all places.  At first I thought "what could a pastor in Hawaii possibly have to share that someone like me could benefit from?"  Well, it turns out, his message was a life saver for me, and many others who heard his message that day...(incidentally, if you want to purchase this session click on this link and do so - you won't regret it).  One of his principles was simple, but yet I'd never thought about it this way;

Principle: When your Drains increase, your Fills must also Increase.

Explanation: All of us have things in our life that drain us.  These drains can be anything; job stresses, extra meetings or nights out, conflict with people, too much people time (or not enough people time)...we're all different.  Similarly, we all have things that "fill" our emotional/spiritual tank.  For me, I crave time alone in the wilderness.  When I get time for hiking, photographing God's creation, I get my tank filled.

Now think for a moment; when life gets busy and the things in life that drain you increase, what's the first thing you stop doing?  Yep - you stop doing the things that fill you - the very things that you need when the stresses of life increase.

Now go back to our two Sabbath principles - when you couple together these two principles you arrive at a simple conclusion; Sabbath is a day set aside to "fill your tank."  Six days you work, one day you rest.  It is also time spent with God.  Invite Him with you on your Sabbath.  Rest, Re-energize, Re-focus, Re-connect with God.

So what about you?  When is the last time you took a day and set it aside to rest?  To be with God?  If it's been awhile, stop right now and mark on your calendar, and rest.

Exercise: if you don't know instantly the things that fill you and drain you, stop right now and consider these questions;
1) When do you feel most alive?  Who are you with?  Where are you?  What are you doing (or not doing)?  When you're finished, do you feel more alive, more rested, more filled?
2) When do you feel most drained?  What is on your calendar that you are dreading?

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