I am a ministry professional. A Pastor to be exact. I love what I do! I couldn’t see doing anything else with my life. But it is a profession where it seems like the demands of the job never end. It is relentless. We are constantly in demand. Constantly being pulled in several different directions. Meeting deadlines and meeting needs. We are always “on!” In other professions, physical therapists eventually declare, “That’s enough … you’re good to go.” Manufacturers get to check off the job being “complete.” Consultants submit their final invoice and call the project “done.” Eventually the finished product is released, the restaurant is closed for the night. Most professions have some kind of finish line, and they are allowed to breathe, even if just for a moment.
Not so with ministry. There is no natural time to stop. Until I remembered two examples of rest. God himself “worked” six days and then decided to rest. He was not tired, but as an example to us, he rested. During his earthly ministry on numerous occasions Jesus took time to rest. If God the Father gave us the example of rest, and Jesus rested, then surely there is an example for us to follow. So especially those of you who work in ministry or a profession where you are always “on.” If you take some time away, you will discover that upon your return the building is still standing, things will still be in place, and the “natives” will not have run amuck.
Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your time, as you plan your day or extended time away.
1. Be Intentional – Schedule your day off. The things that are important to us we put them on a calendar. Because its on the calendar it is ever before us. We can even set reminders. Like any other appointment on our calendar we do our best to keep it. Schedule the time intentionally.
2. Get The Word Out – Tell the world you are not available. Tell your friends, colleagues, and maybe even some members of your family that you have scheduled a day off. Do not disturb!
3. Ban Some things – Ban anything that you don’t want to use during your day off. Your cell phone, and computer may top the list, but there may be other things. Also include things left undone or things that may heavy on your mind.
4. Stop The Clock – When visiting Las Vegas the one thing that I noticed as I walk through the casinos. There are no clocks on the wall. And for good reason. They don’t want you to worry or consider the time. Even when we peruse the mall there are no clocks. They want you to shop and till you drop, without regard to time. If you can afford this luxury, turn off your clock, take off your watch and don’t worry about what time it is.
5. Do As You Please – During this time there is no real set schedule. There are no “Should or should nots” during your time off. Don’t worry about what you should or should not be doing. If you want to stay in your pajamas all day do it! If you want to take four naps do it! Eat all day, read all day, look at television all day. Do it! Why not?
6. Rest in your own way – What is rest and relaxation for one, may not be to another. So you may take suggestions as to what rest may be, but by all means rest in your own way. For example, on any given Sunday I preach at least twice and deal with the excitement, fervor, and anticipation of interacting with the members of my church. Afterwards I will admit I am tired. My family and those close to me urge me to sit down, take a nap, rest for awhile. But after Sundays services, relaxing for me is going to a movie, walking a public market, or even riding a bike or walking near the beach. That is rest on my terms, which may not seem like rest on their terms. Rest your way on your day.
7. No Regrets – Promise you won’t spend the day after making up for your day off. Don’t waste your day off thinking about what you need to make up as a result of the the day off you took off. Enjoy it to the fullest and let tomorrow take care of itself.
SEIZE THE DAY! AND DO NOTHING!!!! ENJOY!